A church in New Jersey, United States on Saturday cancelled a fundraising event featuring Hindu supremacist Rithambara after a public outcry, local newspaper North Jersey reported.

Rithambara was an accused person in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, which triggered communal violence across India. In 2020, a Central Bureau of Investigation court in Lucknow cleared her in the case.

The Hindu supremacist, who founded the women’s wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad’s Durga Vahini in 1991, has often made provocative comments about minority communities, especially Muslims. In April, she had asked Hindu couples to produce four children and dedicate two of them to making India a “Hindu Rashtra”, PTI reported.

On Friday, Reverend Robert Miller of the Old Paramus Reformed Church in Ridgewood said that he cancelled Rithambara’s event in New Jersey after hearing from opponents and event organisers, North Jersey reported. Miller said he has received at least 1,000 emails and 100 calls requesting the event to be cancelled.

The church was unaware of the speaker’s background when the reservation for the event was made, the priest said. Param Shakti Peeth of America, which had conducted events at the space before, had requested the church to book the event, he said.

The organisers felt that they were being misinterpreted as the event was about peace and love, Miller added, North Jersey reported.

On Friday, the Indian American Muslim Council and Hindus for Human Rights had written to the church, the mayor of Ridgewood in New Jersey and council members asking them to rescind the event.

After the church cancelled the event, Shaheen Khateeb, one of the founding members of Indian American Muslim Council, lauded the decision saying that platform should not be used by an extremist who is known for her “anti-Christian and anti-Muslim hate and bigotry in India”.

Mohammad Jawad, the president of the Indian American Muslim Council New Jersey chapter, said that Hindu extremists like Rihambara threatened peace.

“NJ should never provide space to people who peddle the hateful ideology of Hindutva that is completely antithetical to the democratic values of the US,” he added.