The National Commission for Women on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh Police to take action against Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav for allegedly “instigating hatred and ill will” against suspended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
Sharma made disparaging remarks about Prophet Muhammed during a debate on Times Now television channel in May. The comments triggered protests in several parts of the country.
On June 21, a chemist in Maharashtra’s Amravati was killed after he purportedly made a social media post supporting Sharma. A week later, a tailor in Udaipur was murdered for the same reason. His assailants filmed the killing.
On July 1, the Supreme Court said that Sharma was single-handedly responsible for tensions in India. It added that Sharma should have apologised for her remarks.
On the same day Yadav, in a tweet, said that not just Sharma’s mouth but her body must also apologise for the comments. He added that she should also be punished for the unrest in the country.
The National Commission for Women on Monday said that Yadav’s statements are punishable under Indian Penal Code sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (words intended to outrage the modesty of a woman) and 504 (intentional insult).
“Considering the gravity of the matter, you are required to take immediate action against Akhilesh Yadav,” the women’s panel wrote in a letter to the police.
Rekha Sharma, the commission’s chairperson, described Yadav’s statement as unsolicited since the judiciary is already looking into the matter.
“Nupur Sharma is already facing threat to her life and the tweet of Akhilesh is a sheer instigation to general public to assault Ms. Sharma,” she said. “A fair investigation must be accomplished in a time-bound manner.”