Signage of roads named after Muslim personalities such as Emperor Akbar and Firozshah, among others, were found defaced late Wednesday. The names have been blackened and posters of right-wing group — Shiv Sena Hindustan — were pasted on them.
The posters read, ‘Bharat mein Islamikaran manzoor nahi. Safar mein mushkilen aaye himmat aur badti hai. Koi agar raasta roke toh zaroorat aur bhardti hai. Jai Hind! Jai Bharat! (Islamisation will not be tolerated in India. Our courage only grows when our journey meets difficulties. Our need only grows when our path meets with obstacles)’.
The names of Rajinder Singh (national president), Charan Singh (national general secretary), Dinesh Kumar (national secretary) and Vinay Sonkar (secretary) of Shiv Sena Hindu-stan were also on the poster.
Outfit president Rajinder Singh said around 17 members, in three teams, carried out the “operation” between 11 pm and 1 am on the intervening night of May 13-14.
Asked if the group feared any police action for the defacement, Rajinder said, “Let them file a complaint. If the law of the land finds us guilty, we are ready to face the punishment that violating the law entails. We have not caused any real damage. It was a symbolic protest.
We had written to former PM Manmohan Singh a couple of times, protesting against the use of Muslim names for roads in a country called Hindustan. All Hindus look up to a leader like our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are hopeful that he will pay some heed to our concerns.’
Sonkar said his organisation was a splinter group of the Shiv Sena. “We parted ways with the Shiv Sena because it was too limited to Maharashtra and its activities never ventured beyond the state. We have built our base in around 12 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. Our Delhi unit has around 1,300 members and we often meet to carry out our nationalist agenda,” he said.
“Senior leaders held a meeting on Wednesday and discussed several of our issues, including the plan to deface signages of roads named after Muslims. Our group members carried out the task. We have a problem with roads in the city not being named after our leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose and others who fought for Independence. The names of unpatriotic people adorn our pathways,” Sonkar said.
The area falls under the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the civic body has lodged a police complaint.
“We have already filed a complaint and an FIR is being registered in the case. We are in the process of replacing the vandalised boards,”NDMC spokesperson Jagjiwan Bakshi said.
DCP (New Delhi) Vijay Singh said, “The PCR received a call last night from a local resident who alerted us about the defacement of one of the road signs. We will be registering an FIR under charges of defacement of public property and other appropriate section soon. We are going through CCTV camera footage to ascertain the identity of the miscreants.”