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BJP’s Swamy to drag UN official to court over Muslim ‘comment’ row

New Delhi: What started off as a war of words is about to result in a legal suit. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has announced that he will be prosecuting United Nations Under Secretary General Adama Dieng for defamation after Dieng accused Swamy of an anti-Muslim hate speech. Swamy has also rubbished the allegations, questioning the credibility of Dieng’s source of information.

The BJP lawmaker tweeted: “I am honoured & encouraged to receive from the BJP National President J.P. Nadda and office bearers their best wishes for success on my endeavour to prosecute for defamation the United Nations Under Secretary General Mr. Adama Dieng. I am also thankful to the MEA for facilitation.”

If this tweet is anything to go by, Swamy has the backing of both his party and the government in his legal offensive against the UN Official.

IANS was the first to report about this controversy. Earlier, Under-Secretary-General Adama Dieng said on Monday that alleged statements attributed to Swamy like “all people are not equal”, and that “Muslims are not in an ‘equal category’ as others” were extremely alarming. Dieng added: “Hate speech and the dehumanisation of others go against international human rights norms and values.”

However, the BJP lawmaker, while speaking to IANS then, demanded to know “the source or medium” of the alleged statement attributed to Swamy by Dieng. Swamy asked, “Or is it cut and paste fake news?”

Later, Swamy released a second salvo at Dieng saying, “That is cut and paste production. Get the unedited 2-hour interview tape which they are declining to give me,” after a short version of the link to his interview where he made the purported comments was provided as “source” of the UN official’s charge against him.

But this time around, Swamy seems determined to take Dieng head on, in a legal face-off.

Dieng claimed that the expedited citizenship given to non-Muslim minorities should be extended to Muslims in order to be non-discriminatory. Excluding Muslims “is contrary to India’s obligations under international human rights law, in particular on non-discrimination,” he said, without explaining how a measure to explicitly protect religious minorities from Pakistan and Afghanistan, which are officially Islamic countries, and Muslim-majority Bangladesh, would apply to the members of the majority religion there.

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