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CPI(M) calls for arrest of BJP leader for hurting religious sentiments

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir unit of CPI(M) on Wednesday demanded the arrest of a senior BJP leader for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through his remarks.

The National Panthers Party (NPP) activists staged a demonstration against the BJP here, accusing it of promoting communal divide in the Union Territory ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.

Police have already booked senior BJP leader and former MLC Vikram Randhawa after his video surfaced online purportedly showing him making “disparaging” comments over the incidents of celebration of Pakistan’s win over India in the T20 world cup cricket match last month.

J&K BJP Unit has already served him a show cause notice for his “hate promoting remarks” and also relieved him of all his posts, including the post of J&K Secretary.

In a statement, the CPI(M) Regional Secretary, Jammu on Wednesday asked the government why it was not taking action against Randhawa under stringent laws for his “hate speech and call for violence against Kashmiris?”

“Even after exhorting his supporters to beat up Kashmiris and skin them alive which is an open call to violence, he has not been even arrested so far while some students who had reportedly cheered for Pakistan over cricket match victory have been charged with sedition and put behind bars,” the statement said.

Demanding his arrest, the CPI(M) said it is imperative upon the authorities to take action against Randhawa as per the law so that such incidents of spreading hatred can be stopped.

Earlier in the day, activists of NPP led by their chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh staged a demonstration against BJP outside Press Club here, accusing the party of engineering communal divide in J&K ahead of elections and promoting hatred on the basis of caste and religion.

The protestors raised slogans in support of their demand for appropriate punitive action against all those who were trying to “polarise the society on communal lines to subserve their vested political interests and other nefarious designs”.

Dubbing the statement of Randhawa against a particular community as an absurd act of histrionics, the NPP chairman said BJP owed an explanation to the entire citizenry for such “divisive and profane” remarks made by its senior leader.

Singh said anyone promoting communal hatred should be tried for conspiracy to destabilise the nation and vitiate peace besides offences relating to restoration of public order.

“But since it was a part of BJP’s machiavellian designs and a political strategy, it was being downplayed and trivialised by making causal statements of removal of BJP leader from party positions merely to buy time and allow the tensions to subside,” he alleged.

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