Bharatiya Janata Party MP from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir has defended his statement condemning an alleged attack on a Muslim man in Gurugram on Saturday. The cricketer-turned-politician faced severe criticism on Twitter for his comments. “It is easier to say the truth rather than hide behind the froth of falsehood,” Gambhir told The Indian Expresson Monday.
Earlier in the day, the BJP leader called the alleged attack deplorable and sought exemplary action from Haryana authorities. Mohammad Barkat was allegedly beaten up by a group of men at Jacubpura in Gurugram. The 25-year-old was returning to his shop after offering prayers when the group accosted him. Barkat alleged that the men threatened to feed him pork when he refused to listen to them.
Newly-elected BJP lawmaker Gautam Gambhir’s tweet condemning the alleged attack appears to have not gone down well with a section of his party colleagues.
Actor Anupam Kher advised him to not “fall into a trap of getting popular with a section of media” and refrain from making statements.
“Dear @GautamGambhir !! Congratulations on your win. As a passionate Indian it made me very happy. Not that you have asked for my advise but still- Don’t get into a trap of getting popular with a section of media. It is your work that will speak. Not necessarily your statements,” Kher tweeted on Tuesday.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari condemned the incident, but added that people should be cautious while reacting to such reports. He claimed that some people, as part of a conspiracy, triggered such incidents in order to spread rumours and with a design to instill a sense of fear among Muslims.
“People need to be cautious so that they are not misled by such rumours. East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir has reacted with innocence to this matter,” Mr Tiwari said in a statement.
Mohammed Barakat Alam, 25, said he was returning from evening prayers on Saturday when he was set upon by a gang of four to five people who knocked off his skullcap and ordered him to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. He alleged that he was manhandled when he refused.
Mr Gambhir, in another tweet, had said his secularism emanated from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s philosophy of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas (everyone’s support, everyone’s growth, everyone’s trust)” and added that any oppression on the basis of caste or religion was deplorable.
Gurgaon Police has registered a case. The police has also taken the CCTV footage to identify the culprits. No one has been arrested yet.