19:02 GMT12 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): A minister from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has stirred up a hornet's nest by demanding a ban on the burqa or veil, which is part of traditional Muslim attire for women.

    Raghuraj Singh, minister of state at the labour ministry in Uttar Pradesh, was speaking at a Sunday event in Agra when he asked the government to ban the burqa, claiming that Muslim women wear the traditional veil because they were the descendants of Suparnakha, a mythological character in a Hindu epic Ramayana, whose nose was chopped off by Lakshman, brother and companion of Lord Rama, during his 14-year penance in the forests.   

    Singh went on with his explosive remarks by saying that burqas are worn by terrorists to conceal their identity, while referring to protests by women against a controversial citizenship law. This legislation grants citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who arrived in India before 2015, but leaves out Muslim immigrants.

    “The system of burqa has come from Arab [sic]. They hide their face because Lord Lakshman had cut off their ears and nose. They wear burqas because they are the descendants of the demon. Only the descendants of demons can wear a burqa. No ordinary person can wear a burqa. I would also appeal to the country’s government to ban burqas because terrorists enter our country, wearing burqas. So, my fellow citizens, we have to unite because it is necessary to eliminate these goons", Singh was heard saying in a video clip.

    The statement triggered a debate on social media as several backed the minister over the ban while saying that India should follow in the footsteps of Sri Lanka, which ordered a complete prohibition on all types of veils including burqas.

    Several others, however, were left aghast and alleged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was responsible in the first place for saying that “those creating violence (during anti-citizenship law protests) can be identified with their clothes”.  

    This is not the first time the minister has made such controversial statements. He recently vowed to bury alive those who chant slogans against Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Yogi Adityanath.


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    terrorist, terror, ban, Islamic law, veil, Burqa, Muslim, India
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