Al Jazeera: New Delhi says no to ‘harsh’ measures in Delhi amid crackdown on ‘anti-national’ protesters

New Delhi: India’s top court on Tuesday rejected a petition by the government to suspend the trial of a prominent Hindu leader accused of inciting the violence in 2016 that killed more than 100 people.

The court said it had not yet received the government’s reply to the petition filed by Hindu Rashtra Samiti (HRSA), a Hindu nationalist group that claimed that it was the target of the anti-national movement that erupted after Narendra Modi was elected to the Indian parliament in May 2016.

The HRSA’s petition alleged that Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state, was guilty of “incitement” to communal violence and “disorderly behaviour”.

The case was brought by the HRSA against Narendra Dabholkar, a well-known Hindu activist, for allegedly inciting violence that killed about 300 people during a rally in December 2016.

Indian authorities arrested Dabhokar on October 6, 2017, on charges of incitement to communal hatred and rioting.

The trial, which began on February 11, 2018, was the second time India has seen a Hindu leader convicted for inciting violence in the past four years.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned a previous verdict, finding that the court should have ordered the trial to be held in public.

The appeals court said the case should have been tried in private and the government should have complied with a Supreme Court order, which it said was not complied with.

India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision that upheld the trial’s continued in public, saying that the lower court did not give sufficient justification for the delay.

The judges’ decision came after a hearing on Monday that lasted about an hour and a half.

India has experienced a surge in anti-Muslim violence since Modi’s election victory in May, when hundreds of people were killed in violent clashes between Hindu mobs and Muslim protesters.

Many of the attacks were attributed to Hindu nationalists who accused Muslims of wanting to replace the Hindu monarchy with an Islamic one.

The violence was also blamed on Hindu-Muslim clashes in 2016 in Gujarat, the most populous state in India, which saw hundreds of deaths.

On February 13, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Modi’s political party, was defeated in a nationwide election.

The BJP has denied any involvement in any of the clashes, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people.