Blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (SAW): Fearing diplomatic backlash from Arab world, BJP sacks Nupur Sharma, Naveen Jindal

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Ishfaq ul Hassan

New Delhi— Sensing trouble after anger spread across Arab nations,  BJP on Sunday suspended party spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal over blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

“During the thousands of years of the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion,” BJP said in a statement.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party is also strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy. India’s Constitution gives the right to every citizen to practice any religion of his/her choice and to honor and respect every religion,” the party said.

READ ALSO: Rising Persecution of Indian Muslims: It Calls For a United Response To The Threats From Radical Hindutva Forces

BJP said as India celebrates the 75th year of its Independence, they are committed to making it a great country where all are equal and everyone lives with dignity, where all are committed to India’s unity and integrity, and where all enjoy the fruits of growth and development,” it added.

Hours later, the party suspended Nupur Sharma, pending an inquiry, and expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal. Nupur Sharma was a national spokesperson for the party. Naveen Jindal was heading the party’s Delhi media unit.

Feeling the heat, Nupur Sharma took to Twitter and tried to resurrect her image. “I had been appearing on TV debates where Lord Shiva was being insulted every day. In anger, I said something. If my words have hurt anyone’s religious sentiments, I withdraw them. My intention was not to hurt anyone,” she wrote in Hindi.

Sharma’s contentious comment during a TV debate last week, purportedly insulting the Prophet, had triggered a huge outcry and protests from Muslim groups.

Naveen Kumar Jindal had posted a tweet about the Prophet that also angered many, forcing him to delete it.

At least 40 people, including 20 police personnel, were injured during the clashes after two groups clashed in Kanpur on Friday.

One group opposed the shutdown call by the other group, leading to clashes involving incidents of stone-throwing. The police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the crowd and prevent further violence. Police have 36 people and filed cases against 1500 others.

“This man had called The Prophet (PBUH) a ……Nauzubillah. Now he says his remarks “weren’t aimed at hurting religious sentiments of any community”. What did he think the remarks would do? They were made knowing they would hurt sentiments, he just didn’t foresee the outcome!” tweeted former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.

Omar also posted the Twitter trends in Saudi Arabia against India. “There is a context to the BJP suddenly waking up to denounce “insult to any religious personalities of any religion” and it has nothing to do with having offended the sentiments of lakhs of Muslims in India. This apology of a statement is aimed at an international audience,” he said.

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