After videos that surfaced from an event organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindutva organisations suggested that Nand Kishor Gurjar implied his involvement in the February 2020 Delhi riots, the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA on Tuesday claimed that they were misinterpreted, PTI reported.
At the event on Sunday, called “Virat Hindu Sabha”, another BJP leader Parvesh Verma called for the “total boycott” of a community, in a speech apparently aimed at Muslims. Hindu supremacist leaders also exhorted the audience to cut off the hands of those attacking Hindu society and to pick up weapons.
On Monday, videos showed Gurjar saying that he will not desist from killing “jihadis” if they murder any Hindus.
“We don’t harass anyone but if someone harasses our sisters or daughters, we won’t spare them,” the Uttar Pradesh MLA said. “In Delhi, riots broke out because of CAA [Citizenship Amendment Act]. That time, these jihadis started killing Hindus...You people were there – you let us in. We were accused of bringing 2.5 lakh people to Delhi. We only went to explain to them but the police registered a case against us for killing jihadis. We will kill jihadis, always will.”
The BJP leader also called Mohammad Akhlaq – who was lynched in Dadri in 2015 on suspicion of possessing beef – a “pig”. He added, “When Akhlaq is killed for cutting a cow in Dadri, Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh [Yadav] and Arvind Kejriwal cry as if their son-in-law has dead.”
When asked about his comments about the Delhi riots, Gurjar denied that he had entered Delhi during the violence that broke out between February 23 and February 26, 2020, as supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing the law clashed.
“What have I to do with riots in Delhi?” he told PTI. “I did not go there. I said at the event that I was ready with 25,000 people at Loni so no riots took place here even as riots happened in Delhi.”
The violence claimed 53 lives and hundreds were injured. The majority of those killed were Muslims.
Gurjar also told The Indian Express that he is ready to take 50,000 men to Delhi in case something happens to attack the “jihadis”.
The BJP leader said he is not against Muslims but opposes those who he claimed are killing Hindus everyday. “I was not talking about riots in Delhi,” he insisted. “I was talking about the Loni area and how we united to fight against jihadis.”
Sunday’s event was organised against the killing of a Hindu youth named Manish from Sundar Nagari in North East Delhi on October 1. Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East Delhi) Sanjay Kumar Sain has denied any “communal angle” in the killing of Manish and clarified that the murder took place due to an old rivalry.
A first information report has been filed against the organisers of the event for allegedly not taking permission for the meeting, but no action has been taken against the hate speech.