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Shankar Barma

Affiliation: Bajrang Dal
Vocation/Title: Regional President

Barma is an active member of the far-right Hindu militant organization, the Bajrang Dal, currently residing in the district of Rourkela, Odisha. 

After serving for several years in the organization, he is now the Bajrang Dal’s regional president in Odisha. Barma actively participates in cow vigilantism, a practice that uses mob violence to prevent the slaughter of cows and consumption of beef, and frequently organizes rallies and meetings to promote cow vigilantism in his region. He and his supporters are also known for traveling the area and threatening individuals suspected of harming cows.

Barma maintains a consistent presence on both the ground and social media. On platforms like Facebook, he regularly shares anti-Muslim content that is capable of inciting communal violence. In October 2020, he shared a video on Facebook showing a distressed girl urging for the execution of Toushif, a Muslim man accused of killing her sister. Barma referred to the accused by a derogatory term (MC) and advocated for shooting him.

In the same month, Barma shared another video cautioning Hindu girls against ‘love jihad’, a debunked conspiracy theory claiming Muslim men aim to seduce and convert Hindu women. He supported this theory by posting a video in which a Muslim boy is subjected to severe violence, coerced to confess to ‘love jihad’.

In December 2021, Barma made a Facebook post glorifying the destruction of the historic Babri Mosque, and proposed plans to demolish the Gyanvapi and Idgah mosques in Uttar Pradesh. In March 2022, he shared a video of a Hindu man promoting fear and hatred against Muslims after watching the movie ‘The Kashmir Files,’ a Hindu nationalist propaganda movie. After watching the movie himself, he posted, “This movie is a warning to us (Hindus) about the future.” 

In May 2022, he shared a promo video of the movie ‘The Conversion’, a propaganda film produced to amplify the ‘love jihad’ conspiracy and instill fear about the Muslim community.

His Facebook activities in June 2022 included sharing a video of Nupur Sharma, a former BJP spokesperson known for disparaging Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), in which she demeaning Muslims’ religious and historical significance in India. He also shared a video of an event organized by the Bajrang Dal, which propagated the ‘love jihad’ conspiracy theory and claimed Hindus are being forcibly converted to Islam and Christianity. At the end of the video, he joined other attendees in chanting Hindu extremist slogans such as ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and ‘Hail Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu Nation).

In October 2022, he uploaded a video in which he advocated for harsh laws against forced conversion and cow slaughter. He also spoke at an event in October 2023 organized by the Hindu supremacist group Shaurya Jagran Yatra in Birmitrapur, Odisha, where he specifically targeted Muslims, labeling them as cow killers. He also perpetuated unfounded theories such as ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘Demographic Change’, a conspiracy that claims the Muslim population is overtaking Hindus. Barna also emphasized the “impossibility” of fostering positive relationships with the Muslim community.