Hindutva outfits in Jodhpur organised a tableau honouring Shambhulal Regar, who is accused of killing a Muslim man, setting his body on fire and filming the incident on December 6 in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand town. The tableau was organised during Ram Navami celebrations on Monday, The Indian Express reported.
Photographs circulated on social media showed a performer dressed in an outfit similar to what Regar is seen wearing in the video. The poster on stage, which carried Regar’s photo, read, “Hindu brothers, wake up, save your sisters and daughters. The country should be free from love jihad.” The poster also referred to Regar as “Shambhu Nath, destroyer of love jihad”.
“Love jihad” is a term frequently used by Hindutva organisations to allege a conspiracy by Muslim men to marry women from other religions solely to convert them to Islam.
Mahendra Singh, Jodhpur division joint secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, told The Indian Express that the organisation had always asked its youth members to organise tableaux based on current affairs during Ram Navami celebrations. However, Singh claimed that the outfit was not aware that a tableau depicting the murder had been organised.
But Mahaveer Singh, another VHP leader, told CNN News18 that the media should not declare Regar guilty until the trial is completed.
Shiv Sena leader Hari Singh claimed that love jihad was a disease “worse than cancer” that was spreading across India. “Regar has raised a voice for our Hindu brothers and sisters. I fully agree with his actions,” Singh said, adding that “a Shambhulal Regar should be born in every home in India”.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said it was his “duty” to take strict action against the people who organised the tableau, ANI reported.