Modi picks Hindu hardliner to lead Uttar Pradesh
Days after Indian Prime Minister Narendar Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party secured a massive victory in India’s Uttar Pradesh elections, posters have appeared in a village in Bareilly district asking Muslim residents to “leave immediately”.
Dozens of posters appeared in Jianagla village overnight, reportedly signed by the “Hindus of the village” and with the name of a BJP MP on them.
According to the Times of India, the message on the posters, written in Hindi, asked the Muslims of India to leave by the end of the year. “With BJP in power in Uttar Pradesh Hindus of the village would do what US president Trump was doing to Muslims in that country,” the message reportedly said.
The police has removed most of the posters in Jianagla and an FIR has been lodged. Five young men from the village have also been apprehended for questioning.
However, both Muslim and Hindu residents of the village are reportedly not happy with the situation.
Police have been doing the rounds of the village but is yet to make a breakthrough. “We have been rounding up youths in the village who are involved in small-time printing and photostat businesses but we are yet to get anything conclusive,” Bareilly superintendent of police (rural) Yamuna Prasad said.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday named Hindu radical Yogi Adityanath as the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, reported the Hindustan Times.
Adityanath is known for his hardline Hindutva ideology and making anti-Muslim statements. He is popular among his supporters for his fiery speeches against minorities.
The chief minister-designate also runs an extremist organisation, Hindu Yuva Vahini, which has been accused of instigating communal tension.
He describes himself as a “religious missionary and social worker” on his Lok Sabha profile.
During the recent elections in the highly-polarised state, he had stirred controversy by making claims of discrimination against Hindus and stoked anti-Muslim sentiments.
He had alleged discrimination in the supply of power to Hindu and Muslim festivals and also in the allocation of land for graveyards and crematoriums.
Adityanath has also been accused of spearheading a forced conversion initiative, called Ghar Wapsi, which targeted Muslims and Christians.
During the recent deterioration of relations between India and Pakistan, he passed statements against Bollywood actors who supported the continuation of cultural ties between the two countries.
“Shah Rukh Khan should remember that if people would boycott his films, he would also have to wander in the streets like a normal Muslim … These people are speaking in the language of terrorists. I think there is no difference between the language of Shah Rukh Khan and Hafiz Saeed,” he was quoted as saying.
The chief minister-designate will be sworn in on Sunday, according to Indian media.