Riots organised to defame India during Trump visit, says BJP citing Umar Khalid clip
The video of the speech, ostensibly delivered by Khalid on February 17 in Amravati, Maharashtra, was posted by Malviya and other BJP leaders on social media platforms.Updated: Mar 03, 2020 05:42 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday alleged that the “tukde-tukde gang” had planned to defame the country during US president Donald Trump’s visit to India, citing a speech by former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid in connection with the large scale violence that rocked the Capital last week.
The party’s national IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya, alleged that Khalid had asked people to “come out on the streets” during Trump’s visit to Delhi on February 24.
The video of the speech, ostensibly delivered by Khalid on February 17 in Amravati, Maharashtra, was posted by Malviya and other BJP leaders on social media platforms.
While addressing a gathering, Khalid is purportedly heard saying in the video: “I promise that when Donald Trump will visit India on February 24, we will show how the Indian government is trying to divide the country and tarnish the principles of Mahatma Gandhi... We will come out on streets in huge numbers to tell (the US President) that people of India are fighting to bring everyone together. Will you come out?”
Malviya alleged that video indicated that the “tukde-tukde gang” — a term the BJP often uses for JNU students and activists alleging that they are “unpatriotic” — was planning a massive protest in Delhi during the Trump visit.
“Umar Khalid, already facing sedition charges, gave a speech in Amaravati on 17 Feb, where he exhorted a largely Muslim audience to come out on streets in huge numbers when Trump arrives in India on 24th. Was the violence in Delhi planned weeks in advance by the Tukde Tukde gang?” Malviya tweeted.
Despite repeated efforts, Khalid could not be reached for a comment. However, he rebutted the BJP’s comments on social media.
“I stand guilty of following Mahatma Gandhi. I wonder, do they hate Gandhiji so much that they want to associate him with naked violence. Actually, they don’t have a problem with me, they have a problem with Mahatma Gandhi. Their existence reeks of hatred towards the saint of Peace. If they want to arrest me for invoking Gandhi, I will wear it like a badge of honour for the rest of my life,” Khalid tweeted.
The Delhi Police are pursuing a case against Khalid, former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and eight other students, in relation to a February 9, 2016 event at the central university. They have been accused of shouting anti-India slogans and booked for sedition. The Delhi government last week gave the police a sanction to prosecute them in the case.
The JNU students have consistently denied all charges, including raising separatist slogans.