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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

VHP files suit against unruly trespassers at World Hindu Congress 2018, Chicago

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has filed a lawsuit against five individuals who disrupted the second World Hindu Congress (WHC) in Chicago in 2018.

The lawsuit, which was filed at the Circuit Court for the 18th Judicial District in Illinois against five named and 10 unidentified defendants, accuses them of conspiring to trespass into the convention, and counterfeiting press passes and other documents in order to gain unauthorised access.

A group of protesters had disrupted the proceedings of the WHC by raising slogans, demanding religious leaders at the meet to oppose the Bharatiya government’s alleged “actions against religious minorities”.

“The complaint was filed on September 11, 2019, approximately one year after the 2018 WHC disruption, both to commemorate the 126th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech in Chicago and the horrid attacks on this country on September 11, 2001,” VHP-America said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 2018 WHC was attended by over 2,500 people.

In its lawsuit, VHP-America alleges that the defendants and their accomplices erupted in an outburst during one of the WHC’s plenary presentations and taunted and intimidated presenters and attendees.

The complaint seeks damages from the defendants for the substantial losses incurred by the organisers as a result of the defendants’ improper actions.

Court records reveal that two of the named defendants were arrested for and eventually pleaded guilty to charges arising out of the events at the WHC, a media release said.

(Source: This is a lightly edited version of a PTI article which appeared in the TheWeek)

HinduPost Note

It is beyond incredulous that PTI (Press Trust of India) is trying to dismiss or downplay the rowdy, illegal trespass of a peaceful event by using scare quotes around the word ‘disruption’ in their original headline.

As someone who was present in the hall when these trespassers climbed on chairs to unfurl their banners and shout their anti-Hindu chants like “Hindu fasicsts, go back”, “We don’t want RSS in our town” etc., we can vouch that the disruption very much happened and it was intimidatory, especially for women and youth. We suppose that even if the trespassers had gunned down a few attendees, likes of PTI would still be calling it an ‘alleged’ disruption.

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