Agra, Mar 19: Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria once again made a controversial remark in his constituency of Agra by attempting to intimidate the minority community in veiled manner. Addressing workers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Friday, Katheria threatened the local administration and ruling Samajwadi Party government in the state of dire consequences if the cases of hate speech pressed against Sangh Parivar leaders are not withdrawn.
“If cases against the BJP and VHP leaders are not withdrawn within 15 days, if the administration continues to ignore our demand, then a different kind of Holi would be played after 15 days,” R S Katheria said. The Minister has not only demanded the police to drop charges against the notorious VHP leader, but has also sent out an ultimatum to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to ensure a heavy compensation is offered to family members of deceased VHP worker Arun Mathur, who was allegedly hacked to death by local Muslims. (ALSO READ: MoS Katheria hate speech & Narendra Modi’s muted response: Is this ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikaas’?)
The entire controversy dates back to the past month, where a VHP activist was allegedly killed by rival Muslims on February 25. On February 28, a condolence meet was held in Agra by the VHP. Hindutva activists of Bajrang Dal, RSS, VHP and politicians of BJP were present at the event. During the meeting, several Sangh Parivar made highly communal and intimidating remarks against the minority community. Some equated them with rakshas while others demanded their extermination to save the Hindu society. (ALSO READ: Muslims equated to descendants of Ravana, threatened in Sangh Parivar meet; MoS Ram Shankar Katheria asks Hindus to show their strength)
Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Katheria, was present on the dias throughout the event. “When he rose to speak, he did not refrain from lambasting the Muslims. Hindus have to unite to fight against the conspiracy being hatched against us. Before another Arun (deceased VHP leader allegedly killed by local Muslims) dies, we have to do something which would force these murderers to run away. If the administration thinks that I’m a minister and my hands are tied now, then they are highly mistaken,” he had said.
While Katheria was not booked by the UP police, other Hindutva leader who had equated Muslims with demons and demanded Hindus to wield their weapons were charged under section 153 (A) of the IPC.