Row over remark on Prophet: BJP leader gets police security
New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Tuesday said they had provided security to suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma and her family members in the wake of the threats she has been receiving following her controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammed during a TV debate, which triggered outrage among Muslims, nationally and internationally, and also led to her suspension from the party’s primary membership
New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Tuesday said they had provided security to suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma and her family members in the wake of the threats she has been receiving following her controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammed during a TV debate, which triggered outrage among Muslims, nationally and internationally, and also led to her suspension from the party’s primary membership.
The security cover from the local New Delhi district police was provided after Sharma through her Tweets and complaints informed the Delhi Police that she had been “receiving rape and death threats”. In her Tweets, Sharma had also tagged Delhi Police commissioner and sought action.
“@CPDelhi I’m being bombarded with rape, death and beheading threats against my sister, mother, father & myself. I’ve communicated the same to @DelhiPolice. If anything untoward happens to me or any of my family members...,” Sharma had tweeted on May 27.
Deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Amrutha Guguloth confirmed that security has been provided to Sharma but refused to share more details on it citing “security concerns”.
On May 28, the Delhi Police had said its cyber cell unit received a complaint from Sharma against various persons about death threats and targeted hatred. Her complaint was converted into an FIR that was registered with the Special Cell against unknown persons under Indian Penal Code’s sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, 506 (criminal intimidation), 507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication) and 509 (outraging modesty of a woman).
A senior Delhi Police officer, who asked not to be named, explained that security to Sharma and his family by the local police has been provided considering the threats she’s been receiving through social media and other mediums.
“In such matters, the local police are duty bound to ensure the safety and security of the person and are authorised to take decisions on the number of police personnel required in the security duty. In case the local police believe they do not have enough personnel at the police station for the security cover, additional force can be sought from the district line,” the officer said.
In India, various security categories such as X, Y, Z Z+ are provided to important personalities and to people whose lives are at jeopardy due to their popularity, profession or threats extended by terror outfits or groups. These security covers are provided following threat assessments carried out by central intelligence and security agencies and the specialized units of states’ police.
As far as the Delhi Police is concerned, the danger assessment is done by its anti-terror unit, special cell, on the recommendations of the local police. In the suspended BJP spokesperson’s (Nupur Sharma’s) case, the special cell is yet to do the threat assessment and decide what category of security she may be given, another police officer explained.
“Even if the threat assessment has not been done, it does not mean the police will wait for it and jeopardize the person’s safety and security despite knowing that he or she has been receiving life threats. The local police can provide security anytime,” the second officer said.
At least three first information reports (FIRs) have been registered against Sharma, two by the Maharashtra Police at two different police stations – Mumbra and Pydonie – and another in Hyderabad. The Mumbra police have summoned Sharma, seeking her presence before the investigating officer (IO) on June 22 to record her statement.
When contacted over phone for her quote on the threats, police security and cases against her, the suspended BJP spokesperson refused to comment by saying, “Everything is in the public domain and I have also Tweeted. I have nothing to add to it.”
As per the protocol, the second officer said, the security personnel will remain with Sharma at her home and the places she would visit. They are not authorised to travel beyond Delhi border. In case she is travelling to any other state, the Delhi Police will communicate it to the concerned state.
“The concerned state will provide security to her,” he added.