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Published: 18:34, June 09, 2022 | Updated: 21:57, June 09, 2022
India: Suspended BJP official in more trouble after remarks on Islam
By Reuters
Published:18:34, June 09, 2022 Updated:21:57, June 09, 2022 By Reuters

Supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami religious group demonstrate to condemn derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad recently made by Nupur Sharma, a spokesperson of the governing Indian Hindu nationalist party, in Peshawar, Pakistan on June 8, 2022. (MOHAMMAD SAJJAD / AP PHOTO)

NEW DELHI – Police in New Delhi said on Thursday they have filed a complaint against a suspended spokeswoman for India's ruling party for "inciting people on divisive lines" on social media, days after her remarks on Prophet Mohammed led to a diplomatic backlash.

Many Muslim-majority countries have condemned India after Nupur Sharma, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, commented on the prophet's private life during a recent heated TV debate that Muslims found insulting.

Calls have grown for a boycott of Indian products in Gulf countries, while the BJP has suspended Sharma and asked its spokespeople to speak more responsibly in public.

Sharma did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via a Twitter direct message. Reuters could not find a phone number or email address for her

Delhi Police said they had registered two preliminary complaints - known as first information reports - on the basis "of social media analysis against those trying to disrupt public tranquillity & inciting people on divisive lines".

"One pertains to Ms Nupur Sharma & the other against multiple social media entities," the department said on Twitter, without specifying what posts triggered the complaint and what were the entities.

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"Even as notices are being sent to social media intermediaries for details of those behind these accounts/entities, #DelhiPolice appeals to everyone to desist from posting anything that may disrupt social and communal harmony."

In India, the filing of a complaint is the first process in any police investigation and is typically followed by questioning of the accused.

Sharma did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via a Twitter direct message. Reuters could not find a phone number or email address for her. A BJP spokesperson did not answer his phone.

Sharma said on Twitter on Sunday her comment on the prophet was in response to "continuous insult and disrespect" towards a Hindu god during the TV debate, but that she had withdrawn her statement.

READ MORE: India tightens security after threat over anti-Muslim remarks

Many Indian TV stations regularly host debates on communal issues where Muslim and Hindu speakers shout at each other.

A religious cum political party in Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami, has called for a protest march in Islamabad to the Indian embassy on Thursday against Sharma's remarks.

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