The Congress on Saturday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party after a gunman opened fire in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality, which is the epicentre of nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Opposition party said the ideology that inspired Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse in 1948 and this shooter was the same.
While being taken away, the gunman, identified as Kapil Gujjar, said only the “voice of Hindus will prevail” in India.
“Shooter changes but ideology pulling the trigger either in 1948 or 2020 remains the same ‘Goli Maro’ – Hands which should be pulling India’s growth are now firing guns – Instead of ‘Make in India’ focus is on ‘Spreading Hate in India’,” tweeted Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill.
The gunman allegedly shouted “Jai Sri Ram” when he fired the gun, NDTV reported. A witness told the news channel that Gujjar fired twice or thrice while standing right next to the police. “We suddenly heard gunshots,” said the person, who volunteers at the protest site. “This person was shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. He had a semi-automatic pistol and he fired two rounds. The police were standing just behind him.”
The incident occurred two days after a gunman shot a student near Jamia Millia Islamia while protestors were marching to the Gandhi memorial at Rajghat on the anniversary of the freedom struggle leader’s assassination.
The Aam Aadmi Party blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for the incident, accusing it of attempting to create law-and-order problems in Delhi ahead of Assembly elections on February 8.
“There is no law and order in the country,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said. “The gun-toting men are not making Delhi their bastion.We have been seeking time from the Election Commission since yesterday so that we can make them aware of these developments but they have not given us any time.”
Adityanath’s incendiary comment
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath alleged that people who support terrorists in Kashmir were staging the protest at Shaheen Bagh, PTI reported. The BJP leader made the remark at a rally in Delhi’s Rohini locality.
Adityanath claimed that the Arvind Kejriwal government “supplies biryani” to protestors at Shaheen Bagh. “These protests happening at various places in Delhi are not about the CAA, but it is happening because those people are questioning as to how can India emerge as a major power in the world, and to stop that rising India,” Adityanath said at another rally in East Delhi.
The protests at Shaheen Bagh have become a target for BJP leaders in the run up to the Assembly elections on February 8. Over the past week, BJP leaders have made provocative remarks about the protestors at Shaheen Bagh. At a rally, Union minister Anurag Thakur appeared to encourage the shooting of protestors. Thakur was heard shouting “desh ke gaddaron ko [the traitors to the country]” while the crowd responded with “goli maaro saalon ko [shoot the traitors]”.
BJP MP Parvesh Verma warned voters that “lakhs of protestors” gathering at Shaheen Bagh to demonstrate against the citizenship law would enter their homes to “rape their sisters and daughters and kill them”. Both Thakur and Verma were censured by the Election Commission.