Members of right-wing group Hindu Sena on Sunday defaced the signboard of the India Islamic Cultural Centre in Delhi, by sticking posters that read “Jihadi Islamic Terrorist Centre” on it. The group’s president Vishnu Gupta confirmed it to news website The Quint. The group said it was angry at the Muslim community for their “terrorist activities” in France and elsewhere in India.
The posters were later removed, according to the station house officer of Lodhi Colony.
Hindu Sena representative Bam Bam Thakur told the website that some members of the group gathered outside the centre, located in Lodhi Colony of Central Delhi, at 9.30 am and vandalised the signboard. “We do not know who took it off, but we definitely went there and put it up today,” Thakur said. “The image has not been photoshopped or anything.”
Gupta claimed that the “Islamic Cultural Centre is not Indian culture”.
“Hindu Sena karyakartas [workers] are angry looking at terrorist activities on television and social media,” he added. “In France, terrorist attacks are continuously increasing and everyone is coming together to raise their voice against this terrorism. In India, there are Islamic extremists who are openly standing in support of such acts. That is what happened in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, amongst other places.”
Gupta was referring to the protests that broke out in various parts of the country against French President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. Macron’s firm stance against Islamic extremism following the beheading of a teacher near Paris on October 17 has drawn anger from Muslims across the world. The French teacher had showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class. Macron had called the incident an “Islamist attack” and urged citizens to stand up against extremism.
The protests in Bhopal, led by Bhopal Congress MLA Arif Masood had protesters holding placards that said “Prophet Muhammad is our Honour”, ‘France is heading towards self-destruction’ on 29 October.
This is not the first time the Hindu Sena has vandalised public property to express their outrage. In June, the group had defaced the Chinese Embassy signboard in the Panchsheel park area of the Capital with a poster saying, “Chin gaddar hai, Hindi cheeni bye bye” (China is a traitor and India-China bye bye).