BJP Leaders’ Comments on Rohingyas & Bangladeshis Don’t Offend Indian Sentiments: Police to Bombay HC


The Maharashtra police informed the Bombay High Court that it has decided not to invoke provisions for outraging religious sentiments against BJP leaders, including Nitesh Rane. This decision came after the police determined that the terms “Rohingyas and Bangladeshis,” used in their speeches, were not directed at Indians or any specific community within the country.

It is to be noted that four cases were registered against Rane for allegedly promoting enmity and disharmony among religious groups through his speeches at various rallies. Initially, the police invoked Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code in only one case against Rane at the Mankhurd police station.

Public Prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar informed a division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Shyam Chandak on Tuesday that Section 295A was not applicable in the other cases. The police commissioners of the concerned areas reviewed the transcripts of Rane’s speeches and concluded that a case under Section 295A was not warranted.

Venegaonkar explained, “No case is made out for Section 295A. The entire statement in the speech was directed at Rohingyas and Bangladeshis. The provision in question is for outraging the sentiments of Indians, and it is acknowledged that Rohingyas and Bangladeshis are not from India; they have entered our jurisdiction illegally, which is an admitted fact.”

He argued that using such terms does not offend the sentiments of any Indian or community within the country. The bench accepted this statement and noted that the police commissioners had reviewed the speeches.

“The highest officers of the police departments in Mumbai and Mira Bhayander have consciously decided not to invoke Section 295A. We accept this statement,” the court said. It also noted that a chargesheet had been filed in one of the cases with the Kashimira police in Mira Bhayandar, and chargesheets in the remaining three cases would be filed within eight weeks.

“The requisite sanction to prosecute the accused under Sections 153A and 153B (promoting enmity and disharmony among religious groups) will also be procured by the police within eight weeks,” the court added.

The court disposed of several petitions filed against alleged inflammatory speeches made by BJP MLAs Nitesh Rane and Geeta Jain, as well as Telangana MLA T Raja Singh, at locations including Mira Road, Ghatkopar, Mankhurd, and Malwani in January this year.

The pleas claimed that the speeches, made after communal violence in the area, warranted an FIR against the MLAs. Petitioners highlighted portions of the speech given in Ghatkopar, where Rane used terms like Rohingyas, Bangladeshis, Jihadis, and other inflammatory language against the Muslim community.

Read More: Supreme CourtDelhi High CourtStates High CourtOther CourtsInternational

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte