New Delhi: Rajkumar Thukral, the BJP leader who in March had an FIR lodged against him for allegedly beating up three Dalit women, has once again stoked controversy by objecting to the presence of a Muslim man at a temple in Uttarakhand’s Ramnagar.
Thukral’s comments came on the heels of a recent attack on the 23-year-old Irfan by right-wing outfits, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, after he was spotted with a 19-year-old Hindu girl near Garjiya temple. According to an Indian Express report, sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh, an Uttarakhand police personnel intervened in the assault and saved the Muslim man.
While Singh was rewarded by the state police for ensuring Irfan’s safety, referring to the incident while on a visit to the temple, the BJP MLA from Rudrapur, however, said it was “time to teach a lesson” to those who wished to “destroy the atmosphere of Ramnagar,” and if the police and the administration did not want to “wake up” then the “Hindu Sena” will have to fight the “destroyers of Hindu culture.”
According to the Indian Express, Thukral went on the question why Irfan along with another Muslim friend, were “roaming with a Hindu girl” and asserted that “We will fight the ongoing plans of destroying Hindu culture, of forced religious conversions and of strengthening the roots of ‘love jihad’.”
On Friday, the state police filed an FIR against “unknown persons” for assaulting Irfan on May 22. However, no arrests have been made so far, since, according to Vikram Rathod, the station house officer of the Ramnagar police station, they are yet to identify the culprits.
In this context, its may be worth mentioning the Supreme Court judgment delivered in the Hadiya case, which came to be labelled as ‘love jihad’ by right-wing groups. Last year, the Kerala high court annulled Hadiya’s marriage to a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan, after her parents alleged that their daughter was forced into conversion. Ruling in favour of Hadiya, the top court in January this year said that Hadiya is 24-years-old. “She told us in court she is married. We can’t question the legitimacy of her marriage,” stated the court.