NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A Hindu fringe group celebrated the 70th birthday of Donald Trump in the Indian capital on Tuesday, calling the U.S. presidential contender the “savior of humanity” who could end the global threat posed by Islamist militants.
About 20 members of the far-right Hindu Sena, or Hindu Army, held the festivities as Americans grieved over the deaths of 49 people in the country’s worst-ever mass shooting, perpetrated by a gunman claiming allegiance to Islamic State.
“Trump has said Muslims should be banned from entering America. Everyone should support that,” said Hindu Sena leader Vishnu Gupta, whose group is known more for its publicity stunts than for having any meaningful support.
Donning red and blue paper hats, activists gathered at a stall on a Delhi road to pledge their allegiance to the presumptive Republican nominee, saying they counted on Trump to contain India’s neighbor Pakistan.
They observed a minute’s silence for the victims of last weekend’s shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, before a large birthday cake was cut to shouts of “Long Live Donald Trump”.
“Trump is about to become the king of the world,” Gupta said. “How will we attack Pakistan without his support?”
India accuses Muslim Pakistan of responsibility for a commando-style militant raid on the financial capital Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people, and an attack on an air base this year.
The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought three wars since independence and partition in 1947.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Douglas Busvine)