Opposition confronts BJP on Katheria's anti-communal remarks
The opposition confronted the BJP government over Minister of State in the HRD Ministry Ram Shankar Katheria's remark following the murder of a VHP leader's murder in Agra. Katheria had spoken about taking action against other communities. Responding to Katheria's remarks, Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha alleged that BJP and RSS were dividing the country.
Kathuria asks Hindus to 'set an example'
Ram Shankar Katheria attended the condolence meet held for Arun Mahaur, the VHP leader killed by youths of another community in Agra. He said that a conspiracy was being 'hatched' against Hindus. He spoke about the need for Hindus to strengthen themselves and to be alert. He said the "killers should also go, we have to set such an example".
Other VHP-BJP affiliates who gave hate speeches in Agra
Other than Katheria, Sadhvi Prachi of VHP blamed the Samajwadi party for turning UP into another Kashmir. She said that Hindus were being eliminated from UP. Even, Agra (Rural) MP Babulal gave a hate speech saying that the "Hindus were ready to fight the decisive battle with Muslims in the interest of the community" and that they would take the "movement to the roads".
VHP distances itself from Sadhvi Prachi
VHP's International Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain said: "The VHP wants to make it clear again that Sadhvi Prachi is neither its leader, nor a spokesperson, nor an office-bearer... Her statements should not be linked to the VHP".
3 booked for hate speeches in Agra
The Agra Police registered a complaint against Ashok Lavanya, Kundika Sharma and Prashant Chaudhary for hate-speeches in Agra. They have been booked under sections 153A and 295A of the IPC. However, RS Katheria's name was missing from the police complaint. Neither, were MP Babulal and Sadhvi Prachi included amongst those who gave hate speeches on Arun Mahaur's condolence meet.
Katheria denies speaking against Muslims
Facing widespread criticism over his hate speech, Ram Shankar Katheria denied having warned Muslims of a 'final battle', and said that the allegations against him were false.
Demands for Katheria's resignation
SP chief Mayawati demanded the prompt resignation of Katheria for his alleged provocative remarks against Muslims. Leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, said that Katheria was exposing the real agenda of the government. He further said that "this has been the continuous, consistent and obnoxious behavior by the Modi government. I am sure that no action will be taken".