Union minister Giriraj Singh claimed on Thursday that the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in New Delhi are no longer merely a demonstration, but a breeding ground for suicide bombers. In a tweet, Singh added that a conspiracy against the country is being hatched in the capital itself.

The minister tweeted a video of a woman exhorting others to protest, allegedly shot at Shaheen Bagh.

Since December 15, hundreds of women have been protesting at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. Police requests for them to clear the area have not borne fruit.

On February 1, a man identified as Kapil Gujjar opened fire at Shaheen Bagh, but nobody was injured. The Delhi Police later claimed that Gujjar and his father are members of the Aam Aadmi Party. However, on Wednesday, Gujjar’s father, Gaje Singh, claimed that his son is a supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The same day, the Election Commission of India removed Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Rajesh Deo, who had linked Gujjar with AAP, from poll duty. In a letter to the city police commissioner, the poll body said Deo had been also issued a warning for making comments about an investigation with “political connotations”.

Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Shah himself, have made belligerent remarks against the protestors at Shaheen Bagh, in the run-up to the Delhi Assembly elections, which will be held on February 8. On January 31, Shah said the contest in Delhi was between Modi, who conducted surgical strikes against Pakistan, and the Aam Aadmi Party which backs the Shaheen Bagh protestors.

In earlier rallies, Shah had asked people to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party so that there will “never be a Shaheen Bagh” in Delhi.

On February 4, Modi himself claimed that the protests at Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Millia Islamia University are not a coincidence but an “experiment” and a “conspiracy”. He claimed political parties were behind the protests.

Last month, BJP National Secretary Tarun Chugh defended the idea of “shooting traitors” and referred to the Shaheen Bagh protestors as an “Islamic State-like module”. He referred to the locality as “Shaitaan Bagh”, or the devil’s place.