The Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday, 5 June, summoned Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal and handed him an official note, expressing "disappointment of the State of Qatar and its total rejection and condemnation to the controversial remarks made by an official in the ruling party in India against Prophet Muhammad."
This comes on the same day as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suspending its spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelling its Delhi media chief Naveen Jindal, over controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammad and Islam.
Responding to this, the Indian government told its Qatar counterpart that:
"In line with our civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. Strong action has already been taken against those who made the derogatory remarks," read the statement.
'Tweets Do Not Reflect Views of GoI'
"Ambassador conveyed that the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements," a press release by Embassy of India-Doha further added.
"We should work together against such mischievous elements who aim to undercut the strength of our bilateral ties," India added.
'Expect Public Apology, Condemnation': Qatar Govt
The State of Qatar expects a public apology and condemnation of the Islamophobic remarks from the Government of India, a press release from the former said.
Allowing the remarks to continue without punishment "constitutes a grave danger to the protection of human rights and may lead to further prejudice and marginalisation, which will create a cycle of violence and hate," it read.
The duo were expelled after the party sought to defuse the row over controversial comments allegedly made by Sharma against Prophet Muhammad, during a debate on a television channel. When the controversy snowballed, Kumar posted a controversial tweet about the Prophet, which he later deleted after outrage.
The BJP had previously claimed that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insults of any religious personality.
"I am a dedicated worker of the party. The decision of the party is of the utmost importance to me," Kumar said on Sunday, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Following her suspension, Sharma said that she could not tolerate 'continuous insult' towards 'shivling' – in connection with the Gyanvapi mosque controversy – and said "some things in response to it."
"If my words have caused discomfort or hurt religious feelings of anyone whatsoever, I hereby unconditionally withdraw my statement. It was never my intention to hurt anyone's religious feelings," Sharma wrote in her apology.