Mumbai: Govandi Citizens Forum Start Online Petition Demanding Kirit Somaiya's Arrest For His 'Bangladeshi' Remark

Mumbai: Govandi Citizens Forum Start Online Petition Demanding Kirit Somaiya's Arrest For His 'Bangladeshi' Remark

The resident association of Govandi has started an online petition demanding the arrest of BJP leader Kirit Somaiya for his controversial remarks. The residents are also demanding a public apology from Somaiya for his remarks about the people of Mankhurd as Bangladeshis.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Monday, June 10, 2024, 07:35 PM IST
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BJP leader Kirit Somaiya | PTI

Mumbai: The resident association of Govandi has started an online petition demanding the arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya for his controversial remarks. The residents are also demanding a public apology from Somaiya for his remarks about the people of Mankhurd as Bangladeshis.

The Govandi Citizens Welfare Forum had written a complaint to the Shivaji Nagar police on Wednesday after a controversial social media post by Somaiya about the loss of BJP candidate Mihir Kotecha from the Mumbai North East constituency. Somaiya’s post on micro-blogging platform X, said, “Uddhav Thakeray received 1,16,072 votes from Mankhurd constituency (Bangladeshi area) while BJP received 28,101 votes. We lost in the Bangladeshi area.”

The resident association’s complaint demanded the police to book Somaiya for his remarks but however as the police failed to take any action, the residents have started an online petition in a hope that it will draw attention to the issue and prompt legal action against Somaiya. The petition, which was started on Friday, had been signed by around 200 people until Monday evening.

“Such a statement from an ex-MP, labelling a part of Indian territory as Bangladeshi, is seen as deeply disrespectful and undermining to both the residents and the armed forces of India. The petition argues that this constitutes an anti-national act. It is aimed at holding Somaiya accountable, underscores the significance of respectful political discourse and the need to address divisive comments,” read the online petition.

The petition also mentions an instance from February when BJP’s member of legislative assembly from Kankavli Nitesh Rane had alleged that the police in these areas of Mankhurd and Govandi had permitted the illegal settlement of Rohingyas.

The petition seeks a cognizable complaint against Somaiya for spreading communal enmity, intending to outrage the religious sentiments by insulting a religion, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace and criminal intimidation under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Shaikh Faiyaz Alam, convenor of Govandi Citizens Welfare Forum, said, “The fact that BJP did not receive quantum Muslim votes in this Lok Sabha election is well known. This is due to the fact that their employees have repeatedly made hurtful comments about Muslims and their community, which violates the right to equality and highlights religious prejudice. In light of this, the BJP ought to condemn Kirit Somaiya's disparaging statements and insist that he apologise in public in order to make peace with the people whose sentiments he offended.”

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