J&K BJP leader booked for hurting religious sentiments, relieved of all party posts

A top Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader has been convicted of allegedly hurting religious feelings in a community by his remarks, prompting the party to offload him from all his responsibilities, including serving as J&K secretary .

An FIR was recorded against former MLC Vikram Randhawa after a video appeared online showing him allegedly making “derogatory” comments about incidents celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India during a T20 World Cup cricket match.

“An FIR has been registered against Randhawa at a police station here under Sections 295-A and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code and further investigation is underway,” said a police official.

Section 295-A concerns willful and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class, while Section 505 (2) empowers the police to arrest anyone who makes a statement that creates or promotes enmity, hatred or malevolence between the classes.

In a statement, J&K BJP chairman Ravinder Raina said: “Randhawa has been relieved of all party positions / responsibilities, including the post of JK-UT secretary with immediate effect. The order said BJP JK-UT vice president Sham Choudhary, a former minister, would be the new head of Rajouri district instead of Randhawa.

The party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit took note of the video and served Randhawa with a presentation notice on Monday, asking him to issue a public apology.

In the opinion, the BJP’s disciplinary committee, headed by Sunil Sethi, also asked him to explain his position within 48 hours.

“A video has gone viral on social media in which you are seen making absolutely reckless and hateful remarks against a particular community. This is unacceptable to the party and has brought the party into disrepute and embarrassment, ”the opinion says.

BJP Jammu and Kashmir chairman, who ordered disciplinary action against the former lawmaker, said he was personally injured after hearing Randhawa’s comments.

He said the remarks “are totally against the basic principles of the party which believes in respect for all faiths and membership of everyone in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’ (inclusive development) “.

Randhawa’s remarks sparked outrage across Jammu and Kashmir, with people demanding action be taken against him according to the law.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said: “It’s so good to see this man befriending the Kashmiris! He should become an example and the law should treat him firmly to deter others from being as abusive as this man was. BJP spokesman Sunil Sethi said the discipline committee delivered an interim report given the huge impact Randhawa’s reckless statement had and the bad reputation it brought to the party.

He said the report recommended his immediate release from all official party positions pending the finalization of the disciplinary proceedings.
“Party chairman Ravinder Raina endorsed the report and decided to take strict and strong action against Randhawa without wasting time, as the party believes in respecting all religions, especially women.

“And it is unacceptable to make a party that someone in a high position in the party can make statements that will hurt anyone’s religious feelings,” said Sethi, who is also chairman of the three-member discipline committee, in a press release.
He welcomed the registration of the FIR against Randhawa.

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