Conflicts & War

Indian man arrested for offering bounty against woman for alleged blasphemy

New Delhi, Jul 6 (EFE).- Indian authorities on Wednesday arrested a man for circulating a video message that urged people to behead the former spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Nupur Sharma, for her alleged insults against Prophet Mohammad.

“Salman Chishti had promised to give a house for beheading Nupur. Police nabbed him within 24 hours of the video getting viral,” tweeted the police department in Ajmer, a city in the western state of Rajasthan where the accused lives.

Chishti, who already has a criminal record, was drunk when he filmed the message and is being interrogated, the authorities said.

“I proclaim it that whoever will cut off and bring Nupur Sharma’s head, I will give my house to them and go out on the road,” Chishti can be heard saying in Hindi in the video that went viral on social networks and was also aired by local news broadcasters.

The incident comes amid heightened religious tensions in India, after offensive comments made against Prophet Mohammad by two spokespersons of the Hindu right-wing BJP triggered protests in different parts of the country.

At least two people were killed and hundreds were injured in the protests and subsequent clashes with security forces that lasted for many days.

Nupur Sharma and the other spokesperson were fired from their posts by the ruling party, and have been facing several court cases against them for the comments.

Things escalated further when on Jun. 28 a Hindu tailor was beheaded by two Muslim men in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, who had entered his shop pretending to be clients.

The tailor was killed days after he had posted messages in support of Nupur Sharma on social media.

Later, thousands of Hindus came out on the streets in protest after the crime was recorded and circulated on the internet by the accused.

India, a country of more than 1.35 billion people, has in the past experienced bloody clashes between Hindus and Muslims that have left thousands dead and injured.

The coming to power of the Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi has coincided with radicalization among the Hindu majority and a disproportionate increase in attacks on the Muslim minority, according to human rights organizations. EFE


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