The row over suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks on Prophet Muhammad doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. Just when it feels like it won’t be back in the news, something happens to bring Nupur Sharma and her controversial remarks, that she made in May-end this year during a TV debate, back in focus.
From incidents of violence that were allegedly triggered by her remarks on Prophet that led even led to social media campaigns — like #SarTanSeJuda — between people divided in supporting and objecting to Sharma, to now another politician in Hyderabad getting the motivation to make a similar statement, Nupur Sharma continues to be in the eye of the storm.
Take a look at recent developments linked to the row sparked by Nupur Sharma’s controversial remarks on Prophet:
ISIS Bomber Planning to Kill Nupur Sharma Detained in Russia
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on Monday said that its officers have detained a suicide bomber, identified as Azamov, a member of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, who was plotting a terrorist attack against one of “India’s leadership elite" to avenge insult to Prophet Muhammad.
The suicide bomber from the Islamic State (IS) detained in Russia was given the sole task of killing Nupur Sharma, top intelligence sources told CNN-News18.
The detained ISIS recruit said during interrogation that he was was supposed to be given things in India to “commit a terrorist attack at the behest of the IS for insult to Prophet Muhammad".
Born in 1992, Azamov was recruited by the IS in Turkey, where he underwent training. Azamov believed that Sharma had insulted Prophet Mohammed and hence should be eliminated, said sources.
As part of the plan, he was sent to Russia to get Indian visa. He was assured local assistance on arriving in New Delhi, said sources.
During his interrogation, Azamov said that he was radicalised online and that he hadn’t met any of their leaders. He alleged he was sent to Russia as part of the second leg of the operation, said sources.
BJP MLA Raja Singh Arrested in Hyderabad Over Comments On Prophet Muhammad
In a reminder of Nupur Sharma’s remarks, Raja Singh, BJP MLA from Goshamahal, was arrested in Hyderabad on Tuesday for alleged derogatory comments against Prophet Muhammad in a video uploaded to social media. The arrest came hours after large-scale protests erupted in the city in the early hours of Tuesday over Singh’s remarks.
Minor clashes were also reported from the Old City area of Hyderabad and protests were also held outside the office of Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand.
In a 10-minute-long video, the legislator is also purportedly seen slamming comedian Munawar Faruqui who performed in Hyderabad on August 20. Singh had accused Faruqui of insulting Hindu gods and threatened to disrupt the event. He was taken into preventive custody by the police before the show.
The Hyderabad Police has booked the BJP MLA for making derogatory comments against the Prophet and hurting religious sentiments under Sections 295, 505 and 153A of the Indian Penal Code.
Raj Thackeray Supports Nupur Sharma, Says ‘Have Zakir Naik, Owaisi Brothers Ever Apologised?’
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, who recently was the leading voice against use of loud speakers at mosques, on Tuesday supported Nupur Sharma in her controversy.
“Everybody asked for Nupur Sharma to apologise. I supported her. What she said has been earlier said by Dr Zakir Naik. Nobody asked for apology from Naik," Raj Thackeray said on Tuesday.
Who will make Owaisi brothers apologise for remarks on Hindu gods and goddesses, Raj Thackeray asked.
Thackeray’s MNS on Tuesday also called for a campaign against Halal meat, calling it the largest terror funding mechanism in the country, adding that Hindus have lost their livelihood and revenue due to the industry.
Series of Violent Incidents Across Country
A series of attacks, including the brutal Udaipur killing, have been reported from across the country that have been linked to the Prophet remark row triggered after the comments made by Nupur Sharma.
From Rajasthan’s Udaipur to Maharashtra’s Amravati, violent incidents have further escalated tensions over the Prophet row.
Last month, a man in Madhya Pradesh’s Agar Malwa district was attacked on Wednesday for allegedly expressing support for Nupur Sharma.
The Madhya Pradesh incident came less than a week after a youth in Bihar’s Sitamarhi claimed he was attacked for allegedly watching a video of Nupur Sharma. The incident took place in Nanpur police station area of Sitamarhi district on Sunday where Ankit Jha, 23, was stabbed several times at a betel shop after which he was rushed to a hospital.
The first major instance of violence was the killing of a tailor in Udaipur who was hacked to death by two men who slit the victim’s throat and later posted a video on social media where they claimed that they are avenging an insult to Islam, indirectly referring to the remarks against Prophet made by the suspended leader.
The tailor, identified as Kanhaiya Lal, had shared a post on his social media account, which, before his murder, he had claimed was uploaded by mistake by his son in a police complaint where he had alleged threat to his life.
Soon after the Udaipur incident, a man’s murder in Maharashtra’s Amravati that took place a week before came to light. The Amravati murder raised questions after the Udaipur incident as the victim here, too, was killed in similar manner as tailor Kanhaiya Lal.
Umesh Kolhe was attacked and killed by two men on a motorcycle on his way back from his medical shop on June 21 in Maharashtra’s Amravati. In a video that surfaced later of the moments before his killing, three people could be seen reaching the spot of the crime 17 minutes before the murder as they began waiting for Kolhe.
‘Sar Tan Se Juda’
After the remarks by Nupur Sharma triggered a massive outrage that even was seen outside the country, a battle cry of sorts, ‘sar tan se juda’, has been going viral in India.
The outcry spread to the streets of the country after the killers of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal made a video of the murder and gave a slogan at the end of the video, ‘…sar tan se juda’ (sar tan se juda).
The islamic slogan, ‘Gustakh-E-Rasool ki ek hi saza, sar tan se juda, sar tan se juda’, roughly translates to ‘There is only one punishment for speaking against the Prophet and that is beheading’.
The row over ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ slogan gained steam after a boy in Madhya Pradesh’s Raisen district, Nishank Rathore, was found dead after his father received a text with the message ‘Gustakh-e-Nabi ki ek saza, sar tan se juda’ from his phone.
While police ruled out any foul play or communal angle in the death of the 20-year-old engineering student, social media uproar over the Islamic slogan still continues with a section of people raising the question as to why the “secular lobby" is silent over it.
In the latest case of BJP MLA Raja Singh, his arrest for his controversial remarks was also made after severe protests broke in Hyderabad last night at South Zone DCP office where protesters demanded immediate action against Singh and chanted sar tan se juda.