West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party President Dilip Ghosh on Sunday threatened to shoot anti-citizenship law protestors who damaged public property, just like in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported.
Ghosh criticised the Mamata Banerjee government “for not opening fire and ordering lathicharge” on Citizenship Act protestors who vandalised railway tracks, trains and other public property last month.
“Is it the father’s property of those who are setting public property on fire?” Ghosh asked at a public meeting in Nadia district. “How can they destroy government property built on tax payers’ money! The governments of Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka did the right thing by opening fire on these anti-national elements [during anti-CAA protests].”
“Our government in UP, Assam and Karnataka shot these people like dogs,” Ghosh added, according to ANI. He also alleged that Banerjee does not take action against such people as they were her vote bank.
“You will come here, eat our food, stay here and damage public properties,” Ghosh added. “Is it your zamindari? We will bash you with lathis, shoot you, and put you in jail.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. At least 26 people died in last month’s protests against the law. Of these, 19 died in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.
Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao criticised Ghosh’s language. “Mr Dilip Ghosh, if that is the case why didn’t Delhi Police not shoot like dogs the ABVP/BJP goons who were running amuck in #JNU,” he asked on Twitter. “The language you use is the language of a bully, out to subjugate people with the might of the govt machinery.”
Union minister Babul Supriyo, however, distanced the party from Ghosh’s comments. “BJP has nothing to do with what Dilip Ghosh may have said,” he told ANI. “It is a figment of his imagination.” Supriyo also claimed that the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Assam never resorted to shooting people. “Very irresponsible of Dilip da to have said what he said,” he added.