Friday, 12 August, 2022
E-paper

India's top court asks Nupur Sharma to apologise for Prophet remarks

India's highest judiciary on Friday asked former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma to "apologise to the whole country" for her remarks on the Prophet Muhammad.

"It is shameful. She (Sharma) should apologise to the whole country," Justice Surya Kant of a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court said, while hearing her plea seeking a transfer of all FIRs filed against her across the country to Delhi.

"This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country," Justice Kant said. "She thinks she has back up of power and can make any statement without respect to the law of the land."

Soon after the Supreme Court's remarks on Sharma, India's main opposition Congress party's leader Rahul Gandhi blamed the BJP-led federal government for fanning anti-Muslim sentiments across the country. 

In fact, Sharma's remarks sparked massive protests by Muslims across the country last month and also triggered a diplomatic row between India and many Muslim-majority countries -- the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Kuwait and Qatar to name a few.

Last month only, the BJP sacked Sharma and another spokesperson -- Delhi media cell head, Naveen Kumar Jindal -- from their respective posts, saying the ruling party “respects all religions”.

“The BJP does not promote such persons or philosophy… it (the BJP) strongly denounces the insult of any religious personalities of any religion,” the party had said in a statement.