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Uttarakhand BJP MLA announces fight against love jihad, conversions

Days after a police officer saved a Muslim youth from being attacked by a mob after he was found with a Hindu girl, Rudrapur BJP MLA Raj Kumar Thukral announced a fight against “love jihad, conversions and suppression of Hindus”

dehradun Updated: May 28, 2018 22:13 IST
Neeraj Santoshi 
Neeraj Santoshi 
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,BJP MLA,Love jihad
Rudrapur BJP MLA Raj Kumar Thukral has courted controversy many times for his remarks. (HT Photo)

Days after a police officer saved a Muslim youth from being attacked by a mob after he was found with a Hindu girl, Rudrapur BJP MLA Raj Kumar Thukral announced a fight against “love jihad, conversions and suppression of Hindus.”

The youth met the girl near Garjiya Devi temple at Ramnagar in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district on May 22. Locals caught them and alleged that they were found in a compromising position. The locals later called members of Hindu right-wing organisations who started thrashing the youth. Sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh came to his rescue.

“When Hindus don’t go into a mosque, when they don’t have a right to enter a madrasa, why did they go to Garjiya temple with an intent to disturb Hindu ethos?” asked Thukral, reacting to the incident.

An over-one-minute video of Thukral’s statements, given to media on Saturday during his visit to the temple, has gone viral on social media.

“Why nobody questions them. Neither law and order nor administration seems to be working here. Why these disgruntled elements are moving there with a Hindu girl? They are deliberately trying to provoke Hindu sentiments and putting oil in the fire,” Thukral said.

“The work of suppressing the Hindus, converting them and strengthening the roots of the love-jihad phenomenon -- against all these we’re announcing a fight.” The phrase ‘love jihad’ is used to allege that Muslim men who woo Hindu women might be trying to convert them to Islam.

Thukral said time has come to teach such elements a lesson. “If police and authorities don’t wake up, Hindu Sena will have to come out and face those elements who are trying to trample upon the Hindu culture…”

Thukral added that the government hasn’t failed. “We will take steps against those people who will indulge in such activities in Ramnagar area, who try to malign the government.”

When HT contacted Thukral, he confirmed that he had given such statements. “I am not the kind of BJP MLA who will sit silently on such an issue,” he said.

“The recent incident in Ramnagar is serious about which I will talk to the chief minister day after tomorrow. I will also raise this issue in the forthcoming session of the state assembly.”

Thukral said it was his personal view that people who have more than two children should not have the right to vote, contest elections or to have a government or semi-government job.

This is not the first time Thukral has courted controversy. In March this year, a video allegedly showed him beating up Dalit women. Earlier this month, the MLA was accused of threatening and abusing a toll plaza staffer near Kichha in US Nagar district.

Asked about Thukral’s statements, BJP spokesperson Vinay Goyal said being the public representative of the area, the MLA has responsibility to ensure that sentiments of the local people are not hurt and the communal atmosphere was not vitiated. “But if he says something that is out of party line, then the party will take notice and take appropriate action.”

First Published: May 28, 2018 22:13 IST