Viral videos showing Hindu religious leaders calling for genocide of Muslims sparks outrage in India

Viral videos showing Hindu religious leaders in India calling for genocide against Muslims have sparked outrage and prompted demands for action.

Indian police said they had launched a hate-speech investigation into last week’s event in Haridwar, in northern Uttarakhand state, in which participants called for the mass killings and use of weapons against Muslims.

A speaker at the gathering told the crowd that people should not worry about going to jail for killing Muslims, according to a video that went viral.

“Even if just a hundred of us become soldiers and kill two million of them, we will be victorious … If you stand with this attitude only then will you able to protect ‘sanatana dharma’ [an absolute form of Hinduism],” the woman said.

The attendees share similar idiology to that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). After coming to power in 2014, the party has been accused of encouraging the persecution of Muslims and other minorities.

Prominent Muslim MP Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted that the inflammatory comments in the video were a “clear case of incitement to genocide”.

The woman in the video reportedly added that Indians should “pray to Nathuram Godse”, the Hindu hardliner who assassinated Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.

Another delegate, Prabodhanand Giri, the head of a hardline Hindu group who is often photographed with senior BJP members called for a “cleansing” and for those present to be “ready to die or kill”.

“Like Myanmar, the police, politicians, the army and every Hindu in India must pick up weapons and do this cleansing. There is no other option left,” he is heard to say.

A third speaker is heard saying that he wished he had killed Modi’s predecessor, the main opposition Congress party’s Manmohan Singh, who was the first Sikh prime minister of India.

Another said he had asked hotels from his state not to allow Christmas celebrations. The statement was met with cheers from the audience.