The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday removed its Information Technology chief of the Haryana unit amid calls for his arrest over a tweet that he had posted in 2017 about Prophet Muhammad and Islam.
A statement issued by state BJP secretary Gulshan Bhatia said Arun Yadav is being removed from the post without giving any reason for the decision.
On Thursday, #ArrestArunYadav was among the top trends on Twitter. Many users tagged the Delhi and Haryana police handles, seeking action against him. While no complaint has been filed against Yadav yet, social media users accused him of hurting religious sentiments.
They pointed out that Mohammed Zubair, a co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, was arrested by the Delhi Police for a tweet that he had posted in 2018, which showed an image of a hotel signboard repainted from “Honeymoon Hotel” to “Hanuman Hotel”.
“If Zubair can be arrested for his 2018 tweet, then why not Arun Yadav?” asked Shaikh Sadeque, president of the Tipu Sultan Party.
Social media users also noted that suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma has not been arrested despite the disparaging remarks made by her about Prophet Muhammad, even as Zubair is jailed. The BJP took no action against her until June 5, when a chorus of diplomatic outrage began. The party had then suspended Sharma.
“The BJP has sacked yet another ‘fringe element’,” Youth Congress chief Srinivas BV said on Twitter about the action against Yadav. “But instead of this eyewash, will these ‘hate minions’ be arrested?”
An unidentified BJP leader told The Indian Express on Thursday that millions of people had noticed the tweets calling for Yadav’s arrest. “With over 85,000 tweets seeking his arrest, it has become a big issue,” he said.