15 nations officially protest against India over BJP leaders' remark on Prophet Muhammed
New Delhi/IBNS: In more diplomatic trouble for New Delhi, 15 nations have officially lodged protests against India over two (now one suspended and the other expelled) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders' controversial remark on Prophet Muhammad, media reports said.
The 15 nations include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Iran, Jordan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Maldives, Libya and Indonesia.
The controversy erupted during India's Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's Qatar visit.
BJP's then spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal has also triggered a controversy with his remarks on Prophet Muhammad.
Reportedly, Saudi Arabia called BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's comment "insulting" and called for "respect for beliefs and religions".
Prior to Saudi, Qatar, Kuwait and Iran Sunday summoned the Indian envoy amid calls for boycott of Indian goods in the Gulf.
In an official protest, Doha summoned the Indian envoy and issued a statement which reads, "Qatar is expecting a public apology and immediate condemnation of these remarks from the government of India."
Qatar's neighbour Kuwait too summoned the Indian envoy and demanded a public apology.
Facing massive flak over the comment that has threatened bilateral relations and businesses, New Delhi said the comments were views of "fringe elements" and not of the government.
The BJP, which has been unsparingly criticised by the main opposition Congress, swung into action to suspend Sharma and expel Jindal stating it was against any "ideology" which insults or demeans any religion or sect.
Trashing the ruling party's statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "BJP’s statement today saying, 'strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion' is nothing but a blatantly counterfeit pretence & sham attempt at damage control."