Communalism

In Photos: When BJP Leaders Met Hindu Mahasabha Member Who Shot at Gandhi's Effigy

Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Shakun Pandey 'reenacted' Mahatma Gandhi's assassination on Wednesday.

New Delhi: Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Shakun Pandey ‘reenacted’ Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on Wednesday, his death anniversary, by shooting at an effigy of Gandhi with an air pistol in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.

Pandey shooting an effigy of Mahatma Gandhi.

In older photos, the same Hindutva leader can be seen meeting senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and union minister Uma Bharti.

Pandey with Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Pandey with Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

These photos were on Pandey’s Facebook page, but were later taken down.

The police on Wednesday registered cases against 13 persons, including Pandey, PTI reported.

“Today on the occasion of the 71st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, workers of Hindu Mahasabha fired at the effigy of Mahatma Gandhi. The incident took place in a house in Naurangabad locality of the city. Later, the video of the event went viral on social media,” a senior police officer said.

In a video of the ‘reenactment’ shared on social media, saffron-clad Pandey is seen aiming an air gun at the effigy and shooting. A red liquid is seen flowing from the effigy after she shoots it.

As the video sparked outrage, Chouhan tweeted, “Erasing illiteracy, poverty and violence towards making a new and strong India would be the true tribute to the Father of the Nation on his death anniversary.”

The Wire reached out to both Chouhan and Bharti, asking how they know Pandey, what they were doing with her in the photographs that have emerged, when they last met her and what their meeting was about. This article will be updated when they respond.

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