Home > Ambuj Nigam
Based in Lucknow, Ambuj Nigam runs a Hindu militant organization called Vishva Hindu Dal (VHD). He is notorious in the region for vigilantism and violence that he perpetrates in the name of ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘cow protection.’ His organization operates hands-in-glove with the Uttar Pradesh administration and other Hindu far-right organizations to spread anti-Muslim hatred and propaganda.
His anti-Muslim hatred can be gauged from the fact that in 2018 when a Lucknow-based Hindu priestess Mahant Devyagiri organized an Iftaar party for Muslims who were fasting in the holy month of Ramadan at Shri Mankameshwar Ghat in Lucknow, Nigam rushed to the place to cleanse and purify it through Hindu ritual of Shudhi-Karan. He said that Muslims’ appearance had rendered the place Impure thus, purification was needed to restore its sacredness.
Members of the VHD roam around boisterously in Lucknow and adjoining areas committing violence and creating disharmony in society. In 2019 four of its members were arrested for beating up two Kashmiri Muslims in Lucknow. The victims, street vendors Adul Salam and Afzal, were attacked by VHD men who hurled obscenities and thrashed them mercilessly with the wooden wands. All four were arrested after the video of the incident caught the attention of the police.
Following the incident, Nigam justified the beating by saying, “Yes, my workers beat them. After the attack on our army men with the help of Kashmiri jihadis, there is anger among the public. The Kashmiris pelt stones at our soldiers and wave the Pakistani flag. Why should we tolerate that?”
Nigam said they looked “suspicious,” so his members asked them for identity cards. His men had called the police but they had taken too long to arrive, he said.
“Sometimes, when the police are late, we have to take matters into our own hands,” he added.
Nigam audaciously propagates the idea of Hindu nationalism and other anti-Muslim propaganda and conspiracy theories. His advocacy for transforming the secular nature of Indian polity into a Hindu Rashtra (nation) is overwhelmingly evident on social media posts and feeds.
The visuals on his Facebook account testify that he has high political connections that earned him and his elk adequate impunity to run parallel state machinery in the region. He is seen in pictures with Uttar Pradesh deputy chief ministers and other prominent leaders of the ruling BJP.