Protests erupted over All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) depicting Sambhal as “the land of the Ghazis”. Sambhal is a city and district in Western UP, around 180 km due east of Delhi. ‘Ghazi’ is a title given to Muslim fighters who participated in military raids and invasions against non-Muslims.
The posters were removed following protests from the BJP.
The hoardings came up ahead of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s electioneering in Sirsi of the Sambhal district. Reacting to the jihad-promoting posters, BJP’s UP vice president Rajesh Singhal said that this place was never the land of the Ghazis. He called this a cheap election trick and added that there are no such ‘ghazi’ cities in Bharat, and neither would they allow any city to become one.
Singhal said that Sambhal has a religious significance for Hindus, as it is mentioned in the Puranas along with Bhagwan Vishnu’s tenth avatar (incarnation) Sri Kalki.
Sambhal’s official portal states, “During 5th century BCE, Sambhal was home to the Panchal rulers and was subsequently a part of king Ashoka’s empire.”
Meanwhile, sadhus in Ayodhya protested strongly when AIMIM came out with posters calling the place Faizabad. Faizabad district was renamed as Ayodhya in 2018. Seers objected, calling it disrespectful of all the people of Ayodhya. They warned that unless AIMIM withdraws the posters, Owaisi’s rally would not be allowed.