Hate speech more fatal than Covid, says Gurugram court; denies bail to Jamia shooter

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Hate speech more fatal than Covid, says Gurugram court; denies bail to Jamia shooter

Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service
Gurugram, July 16

A local court rejected the bail application of Jamia shooter ‘Ram Bhakt’ Gopal on Friday, saying hate speeches were more fatal than Covid—a development that comes three days after he was arrested over a vitriolic and communal speech delivered in Pataudi that later went viral.

Gopal had moved a bail application hours after his arrest.

Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Sageer said hate speech based on religion or caste was quickly becoming a fashion, and police were helpless to stop such incidents.

“Such people who are trying to create disharmony and imparting hatred amongst the common people are

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actually harming this country more than the pandemic,” he said. “Hate speech lays the groundwork for later, broader attacks on the vulnerable that can range from discrimination to ostracism, segregation, deportation, violence and, in the most extreme cases, to genocide. Hate speech also impacts a protected group’s ability to respond to the substantive ideas under debate, thereby placing a serious barrier to their full participation in our democracy.”

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The suspect’s act amounts to hate speech, the court said, and could even lead to “destruction of our society”.

Gopal has now moved a bail application in the high court. Meanwhile, there’s an online campaign that asks for his immediate release for having “served his religion”. It’s unclear who started that campaign.

Gopal’s viral speech at the Pataudi Mahapanchayat shows him targeting a particular religious minority. He’s heard asking the gathering to unite to kill the men of the community and abduct their women. The crowd could be heard cheering him on.

 

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