Jammu BJP Leader's Call for Violence Against Kashmiris Sparks Outrage

Srinagar: Senior BJP Leader and former legislator from Jammu, Vikram Singh Randhawa on Sunday called for “skinning Kashmiri Muslims” and “cancelling their citizenship” in a now viral video.

The comment is presumed to be made in the backdrop of Kashmiri students celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in the ICC world cup match on 24 October.

In the video, Randhawa is heard demanding the cancellation of  degrees earned by Kashmiri students before calling for direct violence. He also called Kashmiri Muslims  “katmulla”, a derogatory slang for Muslims used in many states of India.

The comments have caused outrage on social media with many political and social activists calling for action against the BJP leader's "hate speech".

Jammu based senior advocate Shakeel Ahmad urged the Jammu and Kashmir Police to take action against the former lawmaker. "The speech has hurt the sentiment of the Muslim community," he said. "I request IGP Jammu  to book Randhawa for hate speech. He also  used derogatory remarks against Muslim women.”

Meanwhile former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti took a jibe at the authorities. "No action taken against an ex  BJP MLA who calls for genocide of Kashmiris & to skin them alive. But J&K students are charged with sedition for merely cheering the winning team. India is surely the mother of all democracies,” she tweeted.

Several Kashmiri students in Srinagar were booked under anti-terrorism laws and some were expelled by their colleges in other states over celebrations following Pakistan winning the October 24 match.

Amid the outrage, the BJP's disciplinary committee issued a show cause notice to Randhawa's "absolutely reckless and hatred promoting remarks against particular Community."

The letter stated that his remarks are "unacceptable to party and has brought disrepute and embarrassment to the party. Such type of conduct is likely to dent the public image of party. As a senior leader and former legislator it is expected of you to conduct yourself in public in a manner which is as per party principles."

The committee directed Randhawa to explain his position within 48 hours and also advised him to "immediately issue a public apology" and barred him from speaking to the press. No apology was issued until the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, on the basis of a complaint by advocate Muzaffar Ali Shah, the police in Jammu have registered a case under sections 295-A / 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code at the Bahu Fort Police Station.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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