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Sadhvi Annapurna aka Pooja Shakun Pandey is a Hindu militant and the national secretary of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu militant group. Photographs of Pandey standing with or close to senior BJP leaders like Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uma Bharati have often surfaced in the media.
Pandey is a known minority hater and often delivers communal speeches. She has landed in jail a few times for making extremely communal remarks.
On January 30, 2019, Pandey held a function at Aligarh during which Nathuram Godse’s statue was garlanded and sweets distributed. Godse was also a Hindu Mahasabha member who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
Pandey also staged the assassination of Gandhi and said it would henceforth be held every year like the burning of the demon king Ravana’s effigy during Dusshera.
“If I was born before Godse, I would have killed Gandhi with my own hands. He was responsible for the division of India and killings of several lakh of Hindus during Partition. I will murder anyone who talked about further division of the country.”
In 2017, proposing a solution to triple talaq, Pandey asked all Muslim women who have been victims of triple talaq and nikah halala to convert to Hinduism to get justice.
On the Hindu New Year in 2018, she announced that the Hindu Mahasabha had taken a vow to convert India into a Hindu Rashtra within a year. She went on to state that the government must oblige and begin by rechristening all the “Muslim-occupied temples” like the Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar and rebuilding temples there.
In April 2020, Pandey had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to issue a ‘shoot at sight order for members of Tablighi Jamaat for allegedly spreading COVID. A criminal case was filed against Pandey for promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds and issuing a statement conducive to public mischief. Later, she was briefly arrested. In March 2021, after a minor Muslim boy was beaten up by Hindutva activist Shringi Yadav for entering a temple in Dasna, Pooja Shakun demanded that other temples put up boards prohibiting the entry of Muslims, like the one in Dasna.
Between December 17-19, 2021, she was a speaker at the Hindu Dharma Sansad (Hindu Religious Parliament) in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, where she called for killing 2 million Muslims in India.
“Nothing is possible without weapons. If you want to eliminate their population then kill them. Be ready to kill and be ready to go to jail. Even if 100 of us are ready to kill 20 lakhs of them (Muslims), then we will be victorious, and go to jail… Like [Nathuram] Godse, I am ready to be maligned, but I will pick up arms to defend my Hindutva from every demon who is a threat to my religion,” she said.
In an interview to a YouTube channel called ‘Vishalviews’ shot at the Dharma Sansad, she said, “Today is the time when women need to take swords in one hand along with belans in the other. I request my mothers to not become the weakness of their sons but instead become their strength. Tell them if adharma is happening anywhere I will come with you to cut them up. There won’t be any cases but only a little inconvenience for some days; call us, we will be there with you.”
When asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s critical reaction in 2019 to Sadhvi Pragya’s endorsement of Gandhi’s assassin Godse, she said that Modi has to compromise because of the secular constitution. But she said it was “Modi and others like Modi” who in the past had explained what Godse and Gandhi were all about.