The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Haryana unit on Friday released a helpline number to help Hindus fight “heretic and anti-national forces”, The Indian Express reported. Members of the Hindutva organisation also said that they would help Hindus get arms licences for “self-defence” if they had received threats.
“Attack on business establishments, religious extremism and target killing of Hindus will no longer be tolerated,” the organisation’s media co-ordinator Anuraj Kulshreshtha said, according to The Tribune. He said that those who feel threatened by hate speech, disrespect to Hindu gods and rituals, as also “land jihad” and “love jihad” could call on the number.
“Land jihad” is a conspiracy theory espoused without evidence by Hindutva activists, according to which Muslims buy property belonging to Hindus at high prices, and then threaten their Hindu neighbours.
“Love jihad” is another conspiracy theory according to which Muslim men lure Hindu women into marrying them with the intention of converting them into Islam. In February 2020, the Union home ministry had told the Lok Sabha that the term was “not defined under the extant laws”.
Pawan Kumar, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Haryana president, said that the right of self-defence was available to everyone, The Indian Express reported. “Considering the atmosphere that exists today, if any person wants to keep licensed arms for self defence, what is the problem in that?” he asked. “Through the helpline, we will help Hindus to procure arms licenses. If anyone receives a threat, we will speak to the administration and ask them to provide them license for a weapon.”
Kumar claimed that all of this would be done within the confines of the law.
On July 3, members of several Hindutva outfits across Gurugram organised a panchayat in the Manesar town, during which speakers called for an economic boycott of Muslim shopkeepers and vendors, and described them as illegal immigrants.
Those attending the meeting, including members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, alleged that the shops owned by Muslims used “Hindu names and Hindu deities” as part of a conspiracy.
On Friday evening, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad also shared helpline numbers belonging to its affiliate organisation Bajrang Dal for Hindus who are “under threat or victimised by jihadist forces”.
The Hindutva organisation shared the helpline numbers in the backdrop the murders of two persons that were allegedly linked to social posts in support of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma. She had made disparaging remarks about Prophet Muhammad during a debate on Times Now news channel on May 26.
Last week, the Maharashtra Police had said that a chemist named Umesh Kolhe may have been killed in Amravati for sharing a post supporting Sharma. On June 28, a tailor named Kanhaiya Lal was also killed for allegedly supporting Sharma.