Hubballi (Karnataka): Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday held a high-level meeting with top police officials against the backdrop of violent protests in different parts of the state on Friday over controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad.
He said that at present, the situation is peaceful in the state, adding that he has directed officials to take precautionary measures to maintain law and order. Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, Bommai said, “Presently, the situation is peaceful in the state. The police have been instructed to deploy forces in sensitive areas. The deployment of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) contingents is already on. I have spoken to the Police Commissioner of Hubballi-Dharwad and the superintendent of Police of Dharwad to take appropriate measures.”
Appealing to maintain harmony in the state, the Chief Minister said that the Police Inspectors of all the police stations have been instructed to interact with community leaders of their respective areas to maintain peace.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had on June 5 suspended its spokesperson Nupur Sharma from the party’s primary membership and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their alleged controversial remarks against minorities.
The development comes after the party issued a statement seeking to defuse the row. Expelling Jindal, a communication from its Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said, “Your primary membership is immediately terminated and you are expelled from the party.”
Further, a communication to Sharma from the party’s disciplinary committee said she has expressed views contrary to the party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of its constitution.
Member secretary of BJP’s central disciplinary committee, Om Pathak in a letter to Sharma said, “You have expressed views contrary to the Party’s position on various matters, which is in clear violation of Rule 10 (a) of the constitution of the BJP. 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.”
BJP had said in a statement issued by its general secretary Arun Singh, “The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion. The Bharatiya Janata Party is also against any ideology which insults or demeans any section or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy.”
BJP had stated that it “respects all religions” and is “strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion”.
“During the thousands of years of the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions,” read the brief statement issued by the BJP.
“India’s Constitution gives the right to every citizen to practice any religion of his/her choice and to honour and respect every religion. As India celebrates the 75th year of its independence, we are committed to making India a great country where all are equal and everyone lives with dignity, where all are committed to India’s unity and integrity, and where all enjoy the fruits of growth and development,” it said.
However, the official statement made no direct mention of any incident or comment made by Sharma during the debate.
The Mumbai police registered an FIR against Sharma based on a complaint by Irfan Shaikh, joint secretary of the Mumbai wing of Raza Academy. It stated that Sharma, in a news debate on the Gyanvapi issue, allegedly made controversial comments about Prophet Muhammad. Moreover, Jindal allegedly tweeted against the interests of the country.