The spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a halt to any sort of violence, especially one based on perceived religious differences and hatred, amidst protests in India over the controversial remarks by two now-suspended/expelled Bharatiya Janata Party functionaries against Prophet Mohammed.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the secretary-general during his media briefing on Tuesday, said that Guterres is for the full respect of religion.
Asked about the UN's position on violence in India after the controversial remarks against the Prophet, Dujarric said: ”Our position is -- as we've said at the time, is for the full respect of religion, for calling against any sort of hate speech or incitement and, of course, a halt to any sort of violence, especially one based on perceived religious differences and hatred.”
The BJP on June 5 suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their controversial remarks against the Prophet.
Amid protests by Muslim groups over the remarks, the party also issued a statement aimed at assuaging the concerns of minorities and distancing itself from these members, asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality.
The ministry of external affairs has said that India accords the highest respect to all religions.
The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals. They do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. Strong action has already been taken against these individuals by relevant bodies, the MEA spokesperson said last week.