Top Ajmer cleric on provocative slogans linked to Nupur Sharma: ‘Anti-humanity’

Remarks made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal stirred a controversy leading to violent acts of protest, such as the tailor’s murder in Rajasthan’s Udaipur and a chemist’s death in Maharashtra’s Amravati.

Days after a cleric was arrested in Rajasthan’s Ajmer over a provocative video in which he was purportedly seen giving a threat to former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, a top cleric has now denounced instigating comments and said that those who bring these ‘slogans of violence, death and destruction’ are the ‘real culprits’.

“We completely denounce the slogans which are anti-Islamic and anti-humanity. They are the real culprits who are bringing these slogans of violence, death and destruction,” said Haji Syed Salman Chishty, Sharif of Gaddi Nashin-Dargah and chairman, Chishty Foundation, in Ajmer.

Earlier this week, a cleric named Salman Chishti was arrested in Ajmer for allegedly offering his house to anyone who beheads Nupur Sharma over her remarks on Prophet Mohammed. The cleric had reportedly announced a bounty on Sharma, in a video that went viral on social media.

“To hear such slogans which aren’t attached to Dargah Ajmer Sharif and some individuals who have raised these slogans-we denounce and boycott them completely. World should know that this has nothing to do with Ajmer Dargah Sharif or the community of Ghareeb Nawa,” the Chisty Foundation chief told news agency ANI.

“Such slogans and calls for violence are anti-Islamic, anti-humanity and anti-society. The authorities should take note of such individuals and exemplary punishment should be given to them. This is an issue of radical ideology which has been creeping up,” he added.

The ex BJP spokersperson’s comments on the Prophet stirred a controversy which was followed by protests and violence. A tailor was killed in Rajasthan’s Udaipur and a chemist was murdered in Maharashtra’s Amravati allegedly for backing Sharma.

The Ajmer Police had registered a case against the cleric on Monday night and he was arrested Tuesday from his residence at Khadim mohalla, additional superintendent of police (ASP) Vikas Sangwan said. Police had said that preliminary investigation revealed he was in an inebriated state when he recorded the video. “The arrested accused is a history-sheeter and an alcoholic,” the ASP said.

Chishti has been booked under section 153-A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion) of Indian Penal Code and under the Information Technology Act, police said.

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