Former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments about Prophet Muhammad on May 26 sparked outrage across the country. Two people were brutally murdered recently for allegedly supporting Nupur Sharma on social media. Besides, massive protests erupted across the country over remarks against the Prophet, in which many people were killed and several injured.
A tailor was killed in broad daylight in Udaipur on June 28 over a social media post in support of Nupur Sharma. Two men who chopped his head off and later recorded a video admitting to the killing. The four accused in the Udaipur murder case, including the prime accused Mohammad Riyaz and Ghouse Mohammad, have been sent to National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody till July 12.
This incident was followed by another gruesome murder of a chemist in Maharashtra’s Amravati on Saturday. Local BJP leaders submitted a letter to police alleging that Kolhe was killed to “take revenge and set an example”. Six people, including the prime accused, have been arrested so far in the case.
Meanwhile, after the murder of a tailor in broad daylight in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, the wife of slain Hindu Samaj Party chief Kamlesh Tiwari alleged that she received an anonymous letter threatening to kill her. Kamlesh Tiwari was murdered after he courted a controversy with an objectionable comment on Prophet Mohammad in 2015.
VIOLENCE AND PROTESTS
Two people, including a 16-year-old boy, were killed in the protests that erupted in Jharkhand over inflammatory remarks against the Prophet. In Uttar Pradesh, police arrested 421 people and registered 20 FIRs in connection with the violent protests.
Members of the Muslim community throw stones during clashes in Kanpur. (PTI Photo)
The protestors carried placards demanding Nupur Sharma’s arrest and also burnt effigies of the BJP leader. Incidents of stone-pelting were reported in several states as protestors clashed with police.
In Delhi, a protest erupted outside Jama Masjid to demand the arrest of Nupur Sharma. At least 1500 people gathered at the spot. However, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid distanced himself from the demonstration, saying that no such call for protest was given by the mosque authorities.
In Kolkata, hundreds turned up with posters demanding Nupur Sharma’s arrest. The state also saw demonstrations with protestors putting up road blockades in several places of West Bengal’s Howrah district. The West Bengal Assembly also passed a motion condemning Nupur Sharma.
People belonging to Muslim community stage a protest over in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)
Violence broke out in several other states, including Bihar, Gujarat and Telangana.
Nupur Sharma’s remarks caused global outrage as India faced a heavy backlash from Muslim majority nations like UAE, Oman, Indonesia, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bahrain. In a tweet, the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia said, ”The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its condemnation and denunciation of the statements made by the spokeswoman of the #Indian Bharatiya Janata Party [#BJP], insulting the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.”
While welcoming the government’s decision to suspend Nupur Sharma, the Bahrain foreign ministry stressed the need for denouncing attempts to provoke religious feelings and incite religious hatred. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan also condemned the remarks.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also reacted to the incident and said, “We strongly encourage respect and tolerance for all religions.” The spokesperson was responding to a question by a Pakistani journalist on Nupur Sharma’s remarks about the Prophet.
SC RAPS NUPUR SHARMA
The Supreme Court came down heavily on suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma over her remarks on the Prophet that sparked a major controversy. The SC said that her remarks against the Prophet were made either for “cheap publicity, a political agenda or for some nefarious activities”.
While hearing the plea of Nupur Sharma seeking the transfer of all the FIRs registered against her in many states for alleged remarks on Prophet to Delhi for investigation, the SC on Friday said that she has “threatened the security of the nation”. The court dismissed her plea and asked her to “approach the HC to seek any remedy”.
Following recent remarks by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma about Prophet Muhammad, the Malaysia-based hacktivist group DragonForce has launched a series of cyber attacks against the Indian government.
The hacking group has launched a campaign, OpsPatuk, which translates to “strike back”, against the Indian government. It is also seeking help from “Muslim Hackers From All Over The World, Human Rights Organizations, and Activists (sic)”.
Nupur Sharma made some remarks about Prophet Muhammad during a panel discussion about the Gyanvapi Mosque survey, hosted by a television news channel, which offended many people around the world. Soon after, she apologised on Twitter. The BJP spokesperson was suspended from the party as soon as the controversy erupted.