Bharatiya Janata Party ally Shiromani Akali Dal on Thursday demanded that the president penalise Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy for calling for a boycott of “everything Kashmiri”, The Hindu reported.
BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had on Thursday tried to distance the party from Roy’s comment. “I do not agree with his [Roy’s] tweet. Matter ends there,” reports quoted Prasad as saying at a press conference.
The governor is a former BJP leader. On Tuesday, Roy tweeted in support of a demand for a boycott of “everything Kashmiri” following the Pulwama attack. Forty Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Pulwama on February 14.
“Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next two years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter,” Roy wrote, quoting from an “appeal” by a retired Army officer. He said he was “inclined to agree”.
Shiromani Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral told The Hindu that the violence against the Sikh community in the 1980s should not be repeated against any community. “There may be some members of the Kashmiri community who are involved in terrorism, and the government should go after them,” Gujral said. “This does not mean that the whole community should be ostracised,” he said.
Gujral said President Ram Nath Kovind should intervene in the matter. “That people like him [Tathagata Roy] hold constitutional positions is a disgrace to our secular democratic ethos,” Gujral said while highlighting the potential dangers of Kashmiris being targeted.
Roy describes himself as a right-wing Hindu socio-political thinker, writer and ideologue in his Twitter profile.