The High Court of the Indian capital of New Delhi directed police Wednesday to register First Information Reports (FIR) against political leaders for provocative speeches inciting violence in the city. It ordered the police commissioner to watch video clips of inflammatory statements by political leaders and lodge FIRs.
In India, an FIR is a written document prepared by the police per Section 154 of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedurewhen they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offense.
Judge Muralidhar criticizedthe police for its handling of instances of hate speech that led to the spate of violence in the city. “Just register FIRs. You showed alacrity in lodging FIRs for arson, why aren’t you showing the same for registering FIR for these speeches,” he said.
TWenty people were killed and scores wounded in the violence, with many suffering gunshot wounds amid looting and arson attacks that coincided with a visit to India by US President Donald Trump. The violence erupted between groups demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law introduced by India’s federal government.
Calling the situation “very unpleasant,” the bench comprising judges Muralidhar and Talwant Singh said that it cannot allow another situation like the 1984 riots in the city and that the state has to be “very alert.”