Tukde Tukde gang? Union Home Ministry has no info, Centre tells RTI applicant
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), responding to a right to information request from a Maharashtra resident, has said that it does not have any information about a “tukde-tukde gang”.
Saket Gokhale of Maharashtra had filed a string of questions about the “tukde tukde gang” that sought to ascertain if the term had been defined by the home ministry and what its response to this challenge was.
The MHA also did not respond to queries of the Hindustan Times seeking clarification on the RTI response.
Saket Gokhale filed the application on 26 December, the same day Home Minister Amit Shah told an event organised by the Delhi Development Authority in the national capital that it was time to punish the tukde tukde gang.
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“It is time to punish the tukde-tukde gang, which is responsible for the violence in the streets of the national capital with the help of the Congress party. The people of Delhi should punish them,” Amit Shah had said.
“Tukde tukde gang” is a colloquial term that has been used by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party over the last five years to describe its detractors who the party alleges, have been working against the interest of the country. One of the earliest occasions when BJP leaders used the term was in 2016 after then JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested for allegedly raising slogans calling for independence of Kashmir from India. Kumar spent nearly three weeks in Tihar jail on a controversial sedition charge that was slapped at him.
The BJP came up with the ‘tukde tukde gang’ phase to target political parties and individuals who came out in support of Kanhaiya Kumar and has since then, hurled the charge at other detractors as well.
Apart from seeking a “definition” of the tukde-tukde gang, Saket Gokhale’s request under the RTI Act also asked the Home Ministry to indicate it had drawn up “a standard operating procedure (SoP)” to identify the alleged gang.
The RTI application also asked the home ministry to clarify “whether the Union Home Minister’s reference to this alleged “tukde-tukde gang was based on specific briefings by the Ministry or other law enforcement agencies?” Gokale also wanted the home ministry to clarify if it had drawn up a list of leaders and members of this “gang” that the home minister had referred to.