A BJP leader Monday, 10 February demanded a ban on burqa, calling it a security threat and provocatively linking it to demon king Ravana's sister Surpanakha.
"Burqa should be banned in the country as has been done in several other countries," Raghuraj Singh, who holds a rank equivalent to a minister of state in the Uttar Pradesh government, told reporters.
Singh claimed burqa is not worn in countries like Sri Lanka, China, the US and Canada and said it should be banned in India as terrorists can take advantage of it.
The BJP leader said people are sporting burqas in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protest against the new citizenship law, and added, The burqa helps terrorists, thieves and anti-socials elements to hide behind it.
"Burqa is a threat to national security and has to be banned to crush terrorism," Singh said.
Without citing his source, Singh linked burqa to Surpanakha, the demon who has her face disfigured in Ramayana. According to Singh's version, Surpanakha fled to hide in the Arab desert.
As her nose and ears were chopped, she used a burqa to hide her face," he said, adding it is not necessary for humans.
"In Mecca, a shivalinga was set up by Guru Shukracharya, who was the guru of devils, and from there the burqa tradition started," he said.
"This is Hindustan and it will be run as per traditions of the Hindus. This is our wish," he said.
Singh, who is part of a cell attached to UP government’s labour department, courted controversy earlier by threatening to bury alive Aligarh Muslim University students for raising slogans against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Bharatiya Janata Party's Aligarh unit spokesperson said Singh holds the rank equivalent to a minister of state in the UP government.
Congress leader P L Punia and Aam Aadmi Party's Sanjay Singh condemned Singh's remarks.
BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh, a minister in the UP government, disowned the remarks, saying they reflected Raghuraj's Singh's personal opinion.