Junior HRD minister in Narendra Modi government, Ram Shankar Katheria, has once again issued a chilling warning to the Uttar Pradesh government of playing ‘second Holi’ if the hate speech charges against BJP and VHP leaders were not withdrawn within a fortnight.
Addressing a crowd on Friday in the presence of local administration including the ADM and the SP City in Agra, Katheria said, “If these cases are not withdrawn within 15 days, then after 20 days Agra would witness a second Holi.”
Katheria, on 28 February, had allegedly threatened to kill Muslims. While speaking at a condolence meet of a VHP worker Arun Mahaur, the junior education minister had said, “We have to make ourselves powerful. We have to launch a struggle. If we don’t begin a struggle, then today we have lost an Arun, tomorrow we will lose another. Doosra jane se pehle, yeh hatyare hi chale jayen is prakar ki taqat humen dikhani hogi (Before another is lost, we must show such strength that these killers tare eliminated).”
On Friday, Katheria also mocked the Uttar Pradesh chief minister by describing him a child, who didn’t understand the severity of murders while awarding compensation to murder victims.
He said, “He (Akhilesh) comes to Agra for picnic, but he’s a child. He doesn’t understand the severity of murders. That’s why he’s clueless on how much he awarded to Akhlaq(Dadri murder victim) and how much he’s giving to others.”
The UP government, the sources said, had made up its mind take no action against Katheria for his hate speech last month. Akhilesh Yadav government is also believed to have decided to drop charges against those booked for hate speeches.
Three of the main accused, so far believed to be absconding, Kundanika Sharma (BJP), Ashok Lavania (VHP) and Shashank Chaudhary (ABVP), were present in Katheria’s rally on Friday.
To pacify Katheria further, the district magistrate also gave in to his demand by arresting Shahrukh under National Security Act as Mahaur’s murder accused.