A Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader on Saturday said the 2002 Gujarat riots showed the “courage and ability of Hindus”, and that Hindu youths gave an “appropriate” response to “Muslim jihadists” for the murder of BJP Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettaru. Amid a nationwide uproar over a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Hindutva outfit’s leader Sharan Pumpwell made these controversial remarks during the Bajrang Dal’s ‘Shaurya Yatra’ in Karnataka’s Tumkur district.
“My dear brothers, Hindu community is never an impotent one. It can never be incompetent. We have proven our might to the world. Remember what happened in Gujarat? There were 58 warriors, or karsevaks, travelling on a train to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya. But they were set ablaze. How did Gujarat reply? No one sat in their homes, they took to the streets and entered each and every house. For the murder of 58 karsevaks, how many died in Gujarat? There is no accurate count, but almost 2,000 people were murdered in Gujarat and it shows the courage and ability of the Hindus. Do we lack courage? Do we lack the capability?” Pumpwell said.
Elaborating on his provocative statement, Pumpwell said Hindu youths had given an appropriate answer to Muslim jihadists in Surathkal after Nettaru’s murder in Mangaluru on July 26, 2022.
“In order to reply to those Muslim jihadists who were responsible for the murder of Praveen Nettaru, angry youths in Surathkal killed them; not in an isolated place but in an open market. That’s the strength of the youth,” he said.
Taking note of Pumpwell’s statements, the Karnataka Congress alleged that polarising the state before the assembly elections was a hidden agenda of the RSS and BJP. Congress MLC Nagraj Yadav demanded that the state government take action against the VHP leader for his attempt at disturbing the law and order situation.
“This should not be encouraged. The matter has been discussed in a court of law. Why is this discussed in public? This spoils the law and order situation in the country. People who are handling law and order in the state must take cognizance of this and take it up seriously and must ask for an explanation from this person. A case must be registered against him,” Yadav said.
The Congress MLC further alleged that the state BJP will never initiate an action against such Hindutva outfit leaders as they were sponsored by the right wing.
“How can you expect an incompetent government to take action? The right wing is sponsored by people who are part of the government. They don’t believe in the Constitution of India and secularism. They don’t respect every religion,” he said.
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