The residence of senior Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid in Nainital was vandalised and set on fire by a group of miscreants on Monday.

The incident comes days after Hindutva politicians including tall BJP leaders launched a vicious campaign against senior Congress politician who equated political Hindutva with the Islamic State and Boko Haram in his latest book “Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times.” BJP said Khurshid’s remark has hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

Visuals shared by Khurshid on Facebook show tall flames, charred doors, and shattered window panes at his home.

“I hoped to open these doors to my friends who have left this calling card. Am I still wrong to say this cannot be Hinduism?” his post read.

“So such is debate now. Shame is too ineffective a word. Besides I still hope that we can reason together one day and agree to disagree if not more,” he continues.

DIG (Kumaon) Neelesh Anand told ANI news agency that a case has been registered against 21 people in connection with the incident.

“Rakesh Kapil and 20 others have been booked. Strict action will be taken against perpetrators,” he said.

“This is disgraceful. @salman7khurshid is a statesman who has done India proud in international forums & always articulated a moderate, centrist, inclusive vision of the country domestically. The mounting levels of intolerance in our politics should be denounced by those in power,” Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor slammed the incident.

Soon after the launching of Khurshid’s book on Hindutva, key Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stated that Hindutva and Hinduism are two different things and said people need to explore and understand such differences.

Gandhi asked the participants if Hinduism is about persecuting people of a different faith, while asserting that Hindutva “of course” is about that.

“Is Hinduism about beating a Sikh, or a Muslim. Hindutva, of course, is. In which book is it written? I have not seen it. I have read the Upanishads. I have not read it,” he said.

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