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Katheria's hate speech no aberration: CPI-M

By Ians English

New Delhi, March 3: It will be wrong to see central Minister Ram Shankar Katheria's anti-Muslim speech as an "aberration" and he should be removed from the central government, the CPI-M has said.

CPI-M journal "People's Democracy" said in an editorial that it had become routine for ministers in the Narendra Modi government to make speeches of communal incitement, violating their oath of office.


Even so, the comments by Minister of State for Human Resource Development made against Muslims in Agra "has to be taken with the utmost seriousness", it said.

Addressing a gathering organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parisad after one of its workers was killed, Katheria said: "We have to make ourselves powerful... Before another (life) is lost, we must show such strength that these killers themselves disappear."

The editorial said similar speeches were made at a Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh prior to the horrific communal violence there in September 2013.

"That a minister in the Modi cabinet is fomenting such communal violence is an act which cannot be condoned in any way," the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.

"It will be a mistake to see Katheria's incitement of violence as an aberration. There are some who still think that all this would stop if Modi intervenes and reins in his ministers. The reality is otherwise.

"The Modi cabinet is filled with ministers, who, motivated by their RSS and Hindutva links, not only spout communal rhetoric, but also act on it."

The editorial urged the Uttar Pradesh government to book Katheria and all others who incited communal violence in Agra. It also asked Modi to sack Katheria as a minister.


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