Government defends Katheria in Parliament, calls reports ‘distorted’

Home Minister Rajnath Singh claimed that Mr. Katheria said nothing "objectionable" and media reports appeared to be "distorted and incorrect."

March 04, 2016 02:52 am | Updated October 18, 2016 03:10 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The government on Thursday rejected the Opposition demand that Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Ram Shankar Katheria be sacked and sedition charges be slapped on him for an alleged hate speech in Agra. Home Minister Rajnath Singh claimed that Mr. Katheria said nothing “objectionable” and media reports appeared to be “distorted and incorrect.”

“The government is opposed to all statements/speeches which divide the country on the basis of religion, caste and creed. This government is fully committed to the Constitution and the law of the land,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.

He expressed the hope that the Uttar Pradesh government would investigate the case in a “fair and impartial manner” and take action.

Mr. Singh also added that the government had examined the video recording of the February 28 condolence meeting in Agra for the murdered VHP leader Arun Mahaur, in which Minister of State for Human Resource Ram Shankar Katheria participated.

“We gave the CD to our officers. They informed us that there were no objectionable utterances by the Minister. He had not said anything against or used derogatory language against any community,” Mr. Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.

“No objectionable contents against any particular community have been noticed.”

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