Hindu Sena Defaces India Islamic Cultural Centre’s Sign Board
“Islamic Cultural Centre is not Indian culture,” Hindu Sena national president Vishnu Gupta said.
Right-wing group Hindu Sena defaced the India Islamic Centre sign board in Delhi on the morning of Sunday, 1 November, by sticking posters reading ‘Jihadi Islamic Terrorist Centre’ on it, The Quint confirmed from their nation president Vishnu Gupta.
“Hindu Sena karyakartas (workers) are angry looking at terrorist activities on television and social media. 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 Prdaesh and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, amongst other places,” he said.
While Gupta believes that these protests were organised in support of the violence by radical Muslims in France, the protests in India denounced the use of violence entirely. The protests in India were against France President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons, which show Prophet Mohammad and Islam in a poor light.
They believe these efforts by the French president, in the name of defending free speech, are a deliberate attempt to malign the religion. The protests in Bhopal, led by Bhopal’s Congress MLA Arif Masood had protesters holding placards that said 'Prophet Muhammad is our Honour', 'France is heading towards self-destruction’ on 29 October.
Speaking about India Islamic Centre in particular, Gupta said, “Islamic Cultural Centre is not Indian culture.” Sena representative Bam Bam Thakur said this was done around 9:30 am on 1 November.
The Quint reached out to the Lodhi Colony police station house officer (SHO), over three hours later around noon, who said that he got the images over WhatsApp, however when they went to check nothing was there on the signboard. Similarly, the India Islamic Centre desk representative said there was nothing there now.
According to a Press Trust of India report from later in the day, a senior police official has said that a case has been registered. He said, "We have registered a case under Section 3 of the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act against unknown people. We are scanning CCTV cameras installed in and around the vicinity but have not found any relevant footage."
When this reporter reached out to the Tughlaq Road police station officials, where IIC falls under, they did not confirm the registration of a case. “I can not speak about this,” the police official said.
Thakur said, “We do not know who took it off, but we definitely went there and put it up today. The image has not been photoshopped or anything.” He sent this reporter three images of the signboard.
Hindu Sena is also the same organisation that plotted the end of the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests on 2 February. However, due to intervention by Delhi Police it was called off.
This is not the first time that the Hindu Sena is defacing a signboard. They defaced the Babur Road signboard at Bengali Market with black paint in September 2019. They also defaced the Chinese Embassy signboard against the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in clashes with the Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June 2020. Back in 2015, they defaced signboards of roads named after Muslim rulers Akbar and Feroz Shah were defaced.
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