VHP leader killed in Agra: Union Minister Katheria claims ‘conspiracy’ against Hindus; Congress asks for his resignation

VHP leader killed in Agra: Union Minister Katheria claims ‘conspiracy’ against Hindus; Congress asks for his resignation

Ram Shankar Katheria (AFP)
Mon, 29 Feb 2016-08:32pm , Agra , PTI

Fresh controversy brewing?

The Hindu community was facing a “conspiracy” and it should strengthen itself and “set an example”, Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria said in Agra at a condolence meeting for a dalit VHP leader, who was shot dead on Thursday.

Katheria, who is Lok Sabha member from Agra, and MP from Fatehpur Sikri Babu Lal were among the leaders of BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal who addressed the meeting held yesterday following the killing of 50-year-old Arun Mahaur, VHP’s city vice president. “This conspiracy that is being hatched against the Hindu community, we have to be be alert to recognise it and strengthen ourselves. We will have to fight it because if we do not do it now, today we have lost one Arun, tomorrow it could be another Arun…the killers should also go, we have to set such an example,” Minister of State for HRD Katheria said.


Addressing the gathering, Babu Lal said, “If the Muslims have something in their mind, then draw a line and you will see the strength of the Hindu community”. After the district authorities refused permission for a condolence meeting in Mantola area at the residence of Mahaur, the BJP had shifted the venue to Jaipur House colony, Ramlila ground where Sadhvi Prachi, Katheria along with local MLAs of the party were present. Authorities have stepped up security in the city which has been gripped by tension following the murder Mauhur while he was returning from a temple on Thursday morning.

Additional companies of police and Rapid Action Force teams have been deployed in Mantola and Nai ki Mandi areas, official sources said today. A close vigil is being kept on the activities of BJP leaders as well as members of other saffron outfits like Bajrang Dal, the sources said. Police today said one of the accused in the murder case has been arrested while another is absconding. They said no complaint has been received in connection with alleged inflammatory speeches made at the condolence meeting. “There is no case or complaint,” police sources said.

Leaders of the Hindu outfits have demanded firm action against suspects indulging in cow slaughter, and raising of compensation for the family of the deceased. The state government has announced Rs 15 lakh for the family, but BJP leaders were not satisfied and said that the Dadri lynching victim’s kin were given Rs 45 lakh, a house and job. District authorities have now written to the state government to increase the relief.

The Congress Party on Monday demanded the arrest of Minister of State for Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ram Shankar Katheria for his participation in an event in Agra during which the Muslims were allegedly threatened by the VHP activists. Asserting that similar incident like the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots should not be repeated, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to initiate apt action against all those who were part of the event.

“The Union Minister goes and arouses communal feelings, asks the people to take up arms, something that is completely anti-constitutional. They should be immediately booked. An FIR should be launched, and the minister, the Members of Parliament, the local MLAs and others, who were on the stage and the VHP members should be put behind the bars,” said Dikshit. Another Congress leader Pramod Tiwari echoing similar sentiments said the guilty should be arrested and investigated immediately.

“Even those ministers present at the event should be arrested. Despite their presence, such statements targeting a community creates caste conflict, communal conflict which is against the law of the country,” said Tiwari.

Source: DNA