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Sharma-Jindal controversy: Guterres encourages respect for all religions

IANS | June 07, 2022 08:54 AM

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly encourages respect for all religions, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has said regarding reports of two former BJP spokespersons making controversial statements about Prophet Muhammad.

"We strongly encourage respect and tolerance for all religions, " Dujarric said on Monday responding to a Pakistan media reporter's question about what he termed the "blasphemous" statements.

The spokesperson said: "We've seen stories, (but) I haven't seen the remarks themselves."

Nupur Sharma, who was a BJP spokesperson, has been suspended by the party's leadership, and the party's Delhi unit media head Naveen Jindal has been expelled.

Police in Mumbai, Thane and Hyderabad have registered cases against Sharma charging her with "hurting religious sentiments".

They made the controversial statements during a TV debate.

The BJP dissociated itself from the two.

Arun Singh, BJP's national general secretary denounced the insulting of religious figures.

"The BJP respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion. The BJP is also strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion, " he added.

The controversial statements have set off an international furore.

Several Muslim nations, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Indonesia and Iran, as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have officially protested their statements and demanded an apology.

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