Bihar: Man allegedly stabbed for supporting Nupur Sharma, police deny
A man from Sitamarhi, Bihar, has claimed he was stabbed for watching a video supporting ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and posting it as his WhatsApp Status. The police, on the other hand, initially denied any such link, that the victim was stabbed on Friday evening after an argument broke out among a group of men who were under the influence of some "local tobacco."
The alleged victim—identified as Ankit Jha, 23—is being treated at a Darbhanga nursing home. He claimed he was stabbed numerous times while viewing a video of Sharma, which he also posted as his WhatsApp Status. He was then rushed to the hospital. Jha reportedly filed a written complaint on Saturday, naming four people. Subsequently, two of the main accused persons were arrested and imprisoned.
"The incident of stabbing took place on [July 15] evening under the Nanpur Police Station after a quarrel between three to four people over cigarette smoke at a paan shop," Superintendent of Police (SP), Sitamarhi, Har Kishore Rai stated. "Yesterday afternoon, he has given a statement in the news media linking it to the Nupur Sharma incident. It is being investigated," the SP added.
According to press accounts, Jha's family members have claimed that a police report was filed "only after" they removed references to Sharma's video. According to locals, all of those involved in the incident were from different religions, hailed from adjacent villages, and even knew each other. They further stated that the incident occurred while they were smoking together at a roadside paan shop.
Sharma's controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad sparked a diplomatic backlash. Citing "renewed" threats—following the Supreme Court's "unexpected and harsh criticism" on July 1—she approached the court again to stay her probable arrest and combine the nine lawsuits filed across India against her. On Tuesday, the SC granted her interim relief and ordered no coercive shall be taken against her pursuant to the impugned FIRs.
On July 1, a Supreme Court bench—comprising Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala—stated it wasn't keen on entertaining Sharma's previous plea. "When you lodge a complaint against someone, that person is arrested, but nobody dares to touch you... That shows your clout," the bench stated. The court further said Sharma was "single-handedly responsible for what's happening in the country," referring to communal tensions.
During a debate on the Gyanvapi Mosque row on a TV channel in May, Sharma stated because Muslims were insulting the Hindu faith by calling the unearthed Shivling a fountain, certain aspects in their religious scriptures may be mocked as well. She then made a mention of Prophet Muhammad's marriage, too. Her remarks sparked uproar and elicited responses from religious organizations and political parties.