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Every religion can be professed with freedom in India, says NSA Doval

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during Interfaith Conference for Communal Harmony, in New Delhi on Saturday.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday warned against elements who were trying to vitiate the country’s atmosphere and stall its progress by spreading communal discord.

“They're creating acrimony and conflict in the name of religion and ideology. It's affecting the entire country while spilling over outside the country, too,” Doval said at the inter-faith conference with Sufi clerics in Delhi today. 

“Instead of being mute spectators, we have to work on the ground to narrow our differences along with strengthening our voices. We've to make every sect of India feel that we are a country together, we are proud of it and that every religion can be professed with freedom here,” the NSA explained.

NSA Ajit Doval’s meeting with religious heads of various faiths in Sufi clerics is part of the Narendra Modi government's outreach to promote inter-faith harmony.

The inter-faith conference forms part of the BJP-led government's efforts to reach out to various faiths in order to reduce religious tensions that have escalated in the wake of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammed and extreme reactions from a section of Barelvi Muslims to her remarks.

The extreme reactions had led to the beheading of tailor Kanhaiya Lal by two Muslim youths in Udaipur, who even filmed the act and threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The National Investigation Agency is investigating the killing.

A similar hate killing took place in Maharashtra's Amravati where a pharmacist named Umesh Kolhe was hacked to death.

After protests by western Asian countries against Nupur Sharma's remark, the Narendra Modi government had suspended the BJP leader. However, protests broke out in various parts of the country with violence being reported in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Doval had held a similar inter-faith meeting with religious leaders in 2019 to calm down frayed tempers and assure them a fair deal in 2019 after the Ayodhya verdict.