New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday suspended national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled Delhi BJP media in-charge Naveen Kumar Jindal over their controversial comments on Prophet Muhammad.
While Sharma was suspended from the party pending an inquiry, Jindal was ousted from the party.
The action, which came shortly after the BJP issued a statement denouncing insult to any religious personality, is said to be the fallout of the party’s growing unease over statements being made against Muslims. The BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was upset with Sharma’s statement made at a television debate. Twitter was abuzz with anti-India boycott calls from the Arab world, including from the likes of the Grand Mufti of Oman.
“You have expressed views contrary to the party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of Rule 10 (a) of constitution of the Bharatiya Janata Party. I have been directed to convey to you that pending further inquiry, you are suspended from the party and from your responsibilities/ assignments if any, with immediate effect,” read the notice issued to Sharma by the BJP’s central disciplinary committee.
After Friday prayers, clashes erupted in the Pared, Nai Sadak, and Yateemkhana neighbourhoods of the city, as some people attempted to compel merchants to close their doors due to Sharma’s remarks.
WHAT DID SHE SAY?
In a TV debate on the ongoing Gyanvapi row, Nupur Sharma is believed to have said that certain things from Islamic religious books could be mocked by people. She said Muslims are mocking the Hindu faith and calling the ‘Shivling’ claimed to have been found inside the mosque complex a fountain.
Cases have been registered against Nupur Sharma for hurting religious sentiments in Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai.
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned, today, H.E. Dr. Deepak Mittal, the Ambassador of the Republic of India to the country, and handed him an official note, expressing the disappointment of the State of Qatar and its total rejection and condemnation to the controversial remarks made by an official in the ruling party in India against Prophet Mohammed, Islam and Muslims.
On Saturday, Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman Sheikh Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Khalili had condemned the statements made by Nupur Sharma on Twitter.
Sharma, meanwhile, tweeted requesting the media and the people to not reveal her residential address. “There is a security threat to my family,” she tweeted. The BJP spokesperson also posted a message in which she apologised if anyone was hurt by her statement.
She also moved to issue an apology for her statement.
“For some days now, I have been attending TV debates, where they keep on insulting Shiv-ji whom I worship. They said in front of me that it was not a Shivling but a water fountain. ‘There are so many Shivlings on Delhi footpaths; go worship those,’ they said. I could not tolerate such insults for our Mahadev Shiv ji and said something out of anger that I should not have said. If anybody’s religious sentiments are hurt, I take back my words. I did not intend to hurt anybodys,” Nupur Sharma’s statement said.