Twitter users are today remembering Kamlesh Tiwari who was murdered on 18 October 2019 years after a statement from the Hindu activist based in Uttar Pradesh caused a riot-like situation in Malda of West Bengal. Tiwari, who founded the Hindu Samaj Party in 2017, was shot dead by a gang of Muslims who had stabbed him 15 times and then slit his throat slit on 18 October 2019 at his house in Lucknow.
The statement that made Muslims of Malda erupt in protest was triggered by (now jailed) Azam Khan, a politician from the Samajwadi Party with criminal antecedents, who had responded to then-Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statements in support of decriminalisation of homosexuality, by labelling members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ‘homosexuals’. Tiwari retaliated with comments about Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, which were considered derogatory by Indian Muslims who protested, with many people from the Islamic community calling for the beheading of Tiwari.
Tiwari was subsequently arrested, charged under the National Security Act, and jailed for a few months by the Uttar Pradesh Police, before his gruesome lynching. Thirteen people have been charged by the police in relation to the killing; 8 for murder and conspiracy, and 5 for harbouring the killers and concealing evidence.
Following is a compilation of tweets about Kamlesh Tiwari from verified handles:
Recalling Kamlesh Tiwari in light of the recent Hindu-Muslim conflagrations across the country, scientist-cum-political commentator Anand Ranganathan tweeted: “That’s the beauty of Indian civilization. Mock, ridicule, attack howsoever much you like. You are safe. Unlike Kamlesh Tiwari.”
Anshul Saxena, who calls himself a “news junkie”, wrote: “Ratan Lal is Professor at Hindu College, Delhi & Srinivas is Doctor at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai.
Just imagine what would have happened if such act was done against minority community:
- Another 2020 Bengaluru riots.
- Threats of Sar Tan Se Juda.
- Fate like Kamlesh Tiwari.”
Saxena later wrote: “All those who were crying blasphemy over Charlie Hebdo cartoons & calling for boycott French products, are now making fun of Shivling. These radicals are lucky unlike Kamlesh Tiwari & victims of 2020 Bengaluru riots. Ironically these Aurangzeb fans say that Hindu are intolerant.”
Quoting the older tweet of Saxena above, founder of Humanitarian Aid International Sudhanshu S Singh tweeted: “Malda burned as allegedly Kamlesh Tiwari made a blasphemous statement. Left-liberals, instead of criticising the rampage, tried justifying it by calling it an outrage against the govt, in which private properties were not harmed.”
Quoting Islamist journalist Saba Naqvi, lawyer Abhishek Dwivedi tweeted: “Kamlesh Tiwari couldn’t get away even after serving jail time. Let alone with an apology. That is what separates us from you. Rightly or wrongly, we shall never know.”
Dwivedi also wrote: “A social media post about their God saw Bangalore police station being burnt to the ground. A statement saw Kamlesh Tiwari being killed. Using (a) court to assert rights is intolerance. Blocking roads, burning police stations and beheading people is democracy.”
Naqvi had outraged a large section of Hindus by mocking the Shiva Linga allegedly discovered inside the Gyanvapi Masjid during the court-mandated videography of the mosque that was built on instructions from Aurangzeb in 1669. The army of the Mughal king deliberately demolished the Kashi Vishwanath temple only partially, it is said, so that the sight of the damaged temple and a mosque standing on its broken structure keeps hurting Hindus.
Naqvi later deleted the tweet. Reacting to her half-baked ideology issued after the deletion, activist Sonal Mahajan tweeted: “Don’t worry, Saba, you didn’t mock Islam or its prophet and your name is neither Samuel Paty nor Kamlesh Tiwari so you will get away with it as usual.”
But BJP activist Priti Gandhi had saved a screenshot of Naqvi’s tweet by then. Sharing the screenshot, Gandhi wrote: “When a Kamlesh Tiwari or a Kishan Bharwad share a harmless WhatsApp forward, they end up paying a price with their lives. But a Saba Naqvi (tagged) has the absolute privilege to mock Hindu deities and then spend the rest of her day complaining about the rising intolerance in India!”