The shooting that triggered panic in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar on Thursday comes days after Union minister Anurag Thakur egged on a crowd to chant “shoot the traitors” at an election rally in the national capital. A student was injured as a 19-year-old man opened fire during anti-citizenship law protests in the area.
Thakur’s remark, though condemned by the Election Commission in form of a campaign ban, is being seen as having done enough damage it was supposed to. A day right after the video surfaced on social media, a man had even reached the Shaheen Bagh protest site with a gun, furnishing another testimony to the consequences of hate speech.
What’s surprising in Thakur’s speech was that it seemed to be a direct call for violence, with him raising the slogan “desh ke gaddaro ko”, prompting the supporters to chant, “goli maro s***o ko”. The slogan in Hindi that translates to “shoot the traitors of the nation” is being seen as a direct call for the attack.
Opposition parties have already stepped up their attack on the saffron party, saying the incident was a “conspiracy by BJP” and a “direct result” of remarks made by the saffron party leaders during campaigning in the poll-bound national capital.
CPI leader D Raja said Thakur, who has been banned from campaigning for three days, should be arrested for his remarks. It may be noted Thakur had refused to tender an apology, saying the mood of the people of Delhi should also be analysed.
“Jamia firing incident a direct result of provocative statements made by BJP leaders during campaigning in Delhi. BJP leader Anurag Thakur should be arrested for his comments urging crowds to raise slogan of shoot the traitor,” reports quoted CPI leader D Raja as saying after the incident.
The firing comes as a shocker in view of the upcoming assembly polls in the national capital on February 8, and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has intensified its heat on the BJP, saying the incident happened because “the saffron party knows it is losing” the elections.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh noted the incident comes on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was shot dead by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948.
“The BJP did such a disgusting act on the Martyrdom Day of Gandhi ji. The BJP and Home Minister Amit Shah are scared of losing the upcoming polls and they are trying to get the polls postponed through the act. Amit Shah has tied the hands of the Delhi police in Jamia that is why they were mute spectators of the incident,” Singh said.
(With inputs from agencies)