Two complain against Pragya Thakur for asking Hindus to keep weapons at home, police yet to file FIR
At a Hindutva group event in Karnataka, the BJP’s Bhopal MP said that Hindus have the right to respond to those who attack their dignity.
Two complaints were filed against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur on Tuesday after she urged Hindus to keep weapons at home. However, the Karnataka Police are yet to register a first information report in the case.
Addressing an event organised by Hindutva group Hindu Jagarana Vedike in the state’s Shivamogga city on December 25, the Bhopal MP said that Hindus have the right to respond to those who attack them and their dignity.
“Keep weapons in your homes, if nothing else, at least keep knives used to cut vegetables sharp,” she told the gathering. “If someone infiltrates our house and attacks us, giving them a befitting reply is our right.”
She also urged Hindus to protect their girls from “love jihad” – a debunked Hindutva idea that Muslim men romantically lure Hindu women with the motive to convert them to Islam.
After a video of her remarks was widely shared on social media on Monday, it triggered outrage and many urged the police to register a case against Thakur.
Tehseen Poonawalla, a political and constitutional analyst and Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale filed complaints against the BJP leader, saying she had made “a highly blasphemous and derogatory speech against the minority community”.
Shivamogga Superintendent of Police GK Mithun Kumar, however, told Scroll.in that “an authentic communication has to be made” for the authorities to take legal action. When Scroll.in approached Poonawalla for his response, he emailed the complaint to Kumar on his official government id.
Poonawalla also said that the superintendent of police has assured him he will take action as per the law after examining his complaint.
“My only question is what action are they taking as per the law against Pragya Thakur who is a terror accused?” he asked, referring to her being named in the 2008 Malegaon blast case that killed six people.
Madhya Pradesh Congress media department’s chairperson KK Mishra told PTI that the Centre should file a case of treason against Thakur for inciting violence.
“She is now talking about a knife after holding a bomb in her hands,” he said. “The acts of former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Thakur are alike.”
In May, Sharma had made controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammad that had led to a major diplomatic row, as several West Asian countries raised official objections. The BJP was forced to suspend her.
But Madhya Pradesh BJP spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi defended Thakur’s statements, saying that the MP was referring to self-defence of women.
“We see that our daughters and sisters are facing inhuman behaviour and are being cut into pieces for the sake of ‘love jihad’ at several places in the country,” he claimed. “Thakur’s statement is not related to any religion but related to the mental strength of all sisters and daughters for self-defence.”
However, at the event on December 25, Thakur had said, “Even if they [Muslims] love they do jihad in that. Answer those involved in love jihad in the same style. Protect your girls, teach them the right values.”
This is not the first time the parliamentarian has caused an uproar with her remarks. In May 2019, she had called Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot. She issued an apology following a barrage of criticism from her own party as well as the Opposition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi later said he would never be able to forgive Thakur for her comments.