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Nepali tonsured, forced to shout anti-Oli slogans, ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Varanasi

Convener of Varanasi-based fringe group Vishwa Hindu Sena Arun Pathak.   | Photo Credit: Facebook page of Arun Pathak

A Nepali citizen, was tonsured and forced to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and slogans against Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Oli by a fringe group members, who also wrote ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on his scalp in Varanasi. The convenor of Vishwa Hindu Sena, Arun Pathak, was booked on Friday. 

A video of the incident was widely circulated on social media after Mr. Pathak, recorded and shared it on his Facebook profile.

The incident came in the background of Mr. Oli stoking a controversy by stating that the ‘real’ Ayodhya was in Nepal and not in Uttar Pradesh.

In the video, the unidentified man is seen seated cross-legged near a river and has no clothes on the upper part of his body. He is made to shout slogans against Mr. Oli and Nepal, and praise India for providing Nepalis livelihood opportunities.

The man, who speaks in Nepali language, is also prodded to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mati ki jai’. He is made to raise slogans in favour of the Vishwa Hindu Sena.

“The Nepali PM did not provide us livelihood so we came to India to earn. Why are you snatching our rights? So many Nepali went abroad to earn a living. India provided us support”, the man is heard saying in his native language, allegedly under the pressure of the fringe group.

Justifies actions

On Facebook, Mr. Pathak justified his actions and even urged his followers to write ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on the scalp of other Nepalis so that Mr. Oli ‘would not dare” speak against Lord Ram.

The Varanasi police said an FIR was registered under IPC Sections 505 (2) and 295 and Section 67 of the IT Act at the Bhelupur police station and necessary action was being taken.

Mr. Pathak was named in the FIR, in which the police said the video had led to a discussion among the public that it was to insult the Nepali nation and hurt religious sentiments.

Varanasi SP (city) Vikas Chandra Tripathi said the matter was being probed with all seriousness. The police were searching for all the accused and would take strict action against them.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Pathak, though not taking direct responsibility, defended the act and attributed it to members of the Vishwa Hindu Sena. Any “insult” of Lord Ram would not be tolerated, he said.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 1:56:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nepali-man-tonsured-forced-to-chant-jai-shri-ram-and-anti-nepal-slogans-in-varanasi/article32111483.ece

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