Suspended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma has recorded her statement in connection with a case of hurting religious sentiments lodged against her, the Delhi Police said on Friday, a day when the Supreme Court said the BJP leader's controversial comments on Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) during a TV debate in May were "single-handedly responsible for putting the entire nation on fire".
Deputy commissioner of police (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations) KPS Malhotra confirmed the development and said that Sharma was served a notice to join the investigation, and that she recorded her statement on 18 June.
According a senior officer privy to the matter, Sharma, in her statement to the cops, said that she made the comment during the TV debate "according to the information in the Muslim holy book". She also alleged that her comments which went viral on social media were "shared without context".
The officer added that others who have been named in a second FIR will also been asked to join investigation in a "phased manner".
Police had registered two first information reports (FIRs) — one against Sharma and another against 33 people including expelled BJP member Naveen Jindal, journalist Saba Naqvi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi and priest Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati for alleged hate speech on social media and other public forums.
The two FIRs were registered under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, the police said.
Separate FIRs were registered against Sharma in other states as well.
During a hearing on Sharma's plea to transfer all FIRs against her to Delhi, the apex court on Friday also questioned the role of the police in the case. "What has the Delhi Police done? Don't make us open our mouths?" the court remarked.
In her petition, Sharma said that nine FIRs were registered against her under various charges of the Indian Penal Code across several states, including Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal, in a coordinated attempt to silence her and impinge her right to free speech and liberty.