Congress's Salman Khurshid's Home Set On Fire: "Left A Calling Card..."

Visuals shared by Salman Khurshid on Facebook show tall flames, charred doors and shattered window panes at his Nainital home

Visuals shared by Salman Khurshid on Facebook show tall flames at his Nainital home

Highlights

  • Visuals shared by Salman Khurshid show tall flames and charred doors
  • DIG (Kumaon) Neelesh Anand said a case has been lodged against 21 people
  • Senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor, Digvijaya Singh slammed incident
New Delhi:

The Nainital home of Congress leader Salman Khurshid was vandalised and set on fire on Monday, days after his new book on Ayodhya sparked a controversy by drawing a parallel between "Hindutva" and radical Islamist groups.

Visuals shared by Mr Khurshid on Facebook show tall flames, charred doors and shattered window panes at his Nainital home. Two men are seen trying to douse the fire by throwing water.

Sharing the visuals, the Congress leader said in a post, "I hoped to open these doors to my friends who have left this calling card. Am I still wrong to say this cannot be Hinduism?"

"So such is the debate now. Shame is too ineffective a word. Besides I still hope that we can reason together one day and agree to disagree if not more," he wrote in another post.

DIG (Kumaon) Neelesh Anand told news agency ANI that a case has been registered against 21 people in connection with the incident. "Rakesh Kapil and 20 others have been booked. Strict action will be taken against perpetrators," he said. 

Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor slammed the incident. "This is disgraceful. @salman7khurshid is a statesman who has done India proud in international forums & always articulated a moderate, centrist, inclusive vision of the country domestically. The mounting levels of intolerance in our politics should be denounced by those in power."

Senior party leader Digvijaya Singh, too, condemned the incident. "I strongly condemn attack on Salman Khurshid ji's residence. These illiterate don't even know what is in the Book," he tweeted.  

Mr Khurshid, a former Union Minister, has been under the spotlight ever since the launch of his new book, ''Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times''. At the centre of the controversy is a passage that reads, "Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years."

Hitting out, the BJP said Mr Khurshid's remark has hurt sentiments of Hindus and alleged that the Congress is resorting to "communal politics" to corner Muslim votes.

Soon after, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi sought to differentiate between "Hinduism" and "Hindutva" and the BJP, in a scathing response, said Mr Gandhi and his party have a "pathological hatred" of Hinduism.

Mr Khurshid also faced some criticism from within his party, with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad terming his "Hindutva" parallel "exaggeration".

"We may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology but comparing it with ISIS and Jihadist Islam is factually wrong and exaggeration," Mr Azad said.

Multiple police complaints have been filed against Mr Khurshid in this matter.

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