Hate speech by Ajmer clerics against Nupur Sharma affects shrine attendance

Hate speech by Ajmer clerics against Nupur Sharma affects shrine attendance

Written by
Srishty Choudhury

Jul 10, 2022, 2:21 p.m.
3 minute read

Ajmer Dargah Khadim Salman Chishti’s alleged statements against Nupur Sharma affect shrine businesses.

Following the arrest of Ajmer Dargah Khadim Salman Chishti on Tuesday night for alleged inflammatory comments against now-suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma, attendance at the Rajasthan city’s Sufi shrine has dropped dramatically.

It has also affected local vendor businesses and hotels near the shrine during this year’s Eid al-Adha festival.

Why is this story important?

  • A video had surfaced recently where Chishti said he would offer his house to anyone who brought Sharma’s head to him.
  • Chishti was also reportedly heard to say that he would kill her for insulting the Prophet.
  • This follows controversial remarks Sharma made against the Prophet Muhammad and his wife during a TV channel debate on the Gyanvapi Mosque issue in May.

Local businesses face 90% losses

Local vendors said they suffered a 90% loss of business this Eid and hotel reservations were also canceled near the Ajmer Dargah.

Ajmer’s alleys and alleys, once teeming with tourists, wore a deserted air even on Friday.

This has affected people’s incomes, with restaurants and transport companies achieving only 10% activity in the past few days.

Canceled hotel reservations, drop in sales

“People don’t come out because they are scared,” said Dinesh Kumar Soni, a local vendor.

Hotel owners also said guests had canceled several reservations before they arrived.

“We have a hotel. Our sales were good last year, but since reports and issues arose in Udaipur, it resulted in total loss of sales,” a hotel owner said.

Loss of rupees. 50 crore estimated

Hate speech has started to have a negative impact on people coming to Ajmer, a hotel owner said.

“It was these statements that triggered this. It is estimated that a loss of at least Rs. 50 crore has been observed. Forget private vehicles, even buses arrive here empty,” ANI quoted the president of the Dargah Bazar Business Association, Hotchand Srinani.

What did the police say about Chishti?

Police said earlier that Chishti made the aforementioned video while intoxicated.

Chishti was apprehended at his home in Khadim Mohalla, according to Ajmer Deputy Superintendent of Police Vikas Sangwan.

“On the face of it, he made the video while intoxicated. He is being questioned further,” Sangwan added.

Meanwhile, the head of the Dargah police station, Dalbeer Singh Foujdar, said that “Chishti is a columnist”.

How did the Dargah administration react?

Ajmer Dargah Dewan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan had denounced Chisti’s views and said the shrine was a haven of communal harmony.

He said that the ideas conveyed by the “khadim” in the video cannot be considered as a message from the Dargah.

Earlier, four people were arrested in connection with another controversial remark allegedly made near Dargah’s main entrance on June 17.

What was the Udaipur incident?

Last month, Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor in Udaipur, was also brutally killed by two assailants, named Riyaz Akhtari and Ghaus Mohammad, apparently for supporting Sharma’s controversial remarks against the Prophet in a social media post.

They slit Lal’s throat and posted a video on social media, claiming they did it in revenge for an insult to Islam.

They also threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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