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Day after row, Anil Vij defends: Sought eradication of anti-national thought, not people

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij Tuesday defended his tweet where he sought “complete eradication of people who have seeds of anti-national thoughts in their mind”, and said he will reply to the police complaints being filed against him.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: February 17, 2021 8:21:44 am
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij Tuesday defended his tweet where he sought “complete eradication of people who have seeds of anti-national thoughts in their mind”, and said he will reply to the police complaints being filed against him.

Vij’s was responding to reports that a Karnataka-based group of activists had filed a complaint over his Twitter post on the 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi that appeared to urge “exterminating” those who harbour the “seed of anti-nationalism”.

Challenging the interpretation of his tweet, the minister said, “A complaint was filed in Bengaluru seeking registration of a criminal case against me. These are the people who study in English-medium schools. They do not understand Hindi. I had sought complete eradication of such a thought that is anti-national, not the people. We just want purification of people. If anybody has seeds of anti-national thought in his/her mind, I had said complete eradication of such seeds. Yet, if anybody lodges an FIR, I will reply on that.”

Delhi Police Saturday arrested Ravi from Bengaluru for allegedly creating and sharing a protest ‘toolkit’ backing the farmers’ agitation against the new agri laws. The minister’s tweet had also prompted an investigation by Twitter after several people reported it.

“A few of such people have international connections. They asked to delete the tweet, but Twitter said that there was nothing wrong in the it. Thus, I am not deleting this tweet,” said Vij who had also posted a response from Twitter that read it had received a complaint over his tweet.

Twitter in its post had said, “We have investigated the reported content and have found that it is not subject to removal under the Twitter Rules or German law. Accordingly, we have not taken any action as a result of this specific report.”

On another question, Vij said, “There are other kinds of links that are also emerging in Disha Ravi’s case. Such links should be dug up about all those people who are organising people against the nation and are conspiring with foreigners. Everybody has right to raise objections. It is a democracy. But if anybody conspires with foreigners to raise an objection, it is imminent to put a stop to it,” he said.

The Delhi Police had on Monday said that Ravi along with Mumbai lawyer Nikita Jacob and Pune engineer Shantanu Muluk created the toolkit and shared it with others to tarnish India’s image.

Ravi had sent the toolkit to teen climate activist Greta Thunberg through the Telegram app, and also “coaxed her to act on it”, police had claimed.

Some opposition leaders had alleged that Vij’s tweet appeared pointing to “exterminating” those who harbour the “seed of anti-nationalism”. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor too had on Monday reacted sharply to Vij’s tweet. “Surely tweets like this are far more harmful to our democracy than anything in the ‘toolkit’ Disha Ravi retweeted?” he said.

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