Signs of roads in the national capital named after Muslim personalities such as Emperor Akbar and Firozshah have been defaced and posters of the right-wing group Shiv Sena Hindustan were pasted on them.
The names on the signs were blackened late on Wednesday. The posters in Hindi read: “Islamisation in India will not be tolerated. Our courage only grows when there are difficulties in our journey. Our need only grows when our path is blocked by someone. Jai Hind! Jai Bharat!”
The names of Shiv Sena Hindustan national president Rajinder Singh and other leaders Charan Singh, Dinesh Kumar and Vinay Sonkar were on the posters.
Rajinder Singh told The Indian Express around 17 members of the group, working in three teams, carried out the “operation” to deface the signs on May 13-14.
He said the group was ready to face action by the police for its “symbolic protest”.
“Let them file a complaint. If the law of the land finds us guilty, we are ready to face the punishment that violating the law entails. We have not caused any real damage. It was a symbolic protest,” he said.
Rajinder Singh said his group had written to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a couple of times to protest the naming of roads after Muslims.
“All Hindus look up to a leader like our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are hopeful that he will pay some heed to our concerns,” he said.
Sonkar described the group as a splinter faction of the Shiv Sena.
“We parted ways with the Shiv Sena because it was too limited to Maharashtra and its activities never ventured beyond the state. We have built our base in around 12 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. Our Delhi unit has around 1,300 members and we often meet to carry out our nationalist agenda,” he said.
Sonkar said the group wants roads to be named after leaders such as Subhash Chandra Bose and others who fought for independence.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has filed a complaint with police over the defacing of the signs.
“We have already filed a complaint and an FIR is being registered in the case. We are in the process of replacing the vandalised boards,” NDMC spokesperson Jagjiwan Bakshi said.
DCP (New Delhi) Vijay Singh said, “The PCR received a call last night from a local resident who alerted us about the defacement of one of the road signs. We will be registering an FIR under charges of defacement of public property and other appropriate section soon. We are going through CCTV camera footage to ascertain the identity of the miscreants.”