National

Intolerance, again: Rijiju, BJP MP attack martyrís daughter

NEW DELHI: The slugfest over last week's violence at DU's Ramjas College has snowballed into another nationalist-versus-liberal confrontation, with Kargil martyr's daughter and DU student Gurmehar Kaur coming under fierce attack from the saffron camp for her social media post condemning the "violence by ABVP" and an earlier post in which she said war, not Pakistan, had killed her father.

Comparing Kaur with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, BJP MP from Mysuru Pratap Simha tweeted on Monday, "At least Dawood did not use the crutches of his father's name to justify his anti-national stand". Hours later, Union minister Kiren Rijiju waded in with a tweet suggesting Kaur was being influenced. "Who's polluting this young girl's mind? A strong arm (sic) force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone but aweak India was always invaded," Rijiju tweeted, drawing sharp reactions from a section of the Twitterati that criticised him for undermining her freedom of expression.

Some even asked why he was questioning Gurmehar's opinion endorsing peace between India and Pakistan, while being silent on ABVP's role in the student clashes at Ramjas College. Kaur got support from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for raising her voice against intolerance. Rahul's office tweeted, "Against the tyranny of fear we stand with our students. For every voice raised in anger, intolerance and ignorance, there will be a Gurmehar Kaur."

Kaur's father captain Mandeep Singh was killed in the 1999 Kargil conflict, when she was two years old. The Lady Shri Ram College student lodged a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Monday, alleging that she had been threatened with rape on social media. Rijiju later clarified he was merely referring to Gurmehar's social media post that shows her holding up a placard that reads "Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him".

Reacting to a tweet asking if 20-year-old Gurmehar could not have a view without being hounded, Rijiju posted: "Everyone has right of views (sic) but she said Pakistan didn't kill our brave martyr and India should shun war. India never perpetrated violence".

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