There have been three attacks on anti-CAA protestors by armed men in the last four days. This violence is clearly an outcome of the irresponsible and incendiary statements made by numerous politicians and public figures associated with the ruling party in response to the ongoing nationwide agitation against the CAA. There has been a tireless campaign in the press and on social media to project the protestors as either unintelligent and ill-informed or as heartless enemies of the nation, and there have been many calls for violent action to be taken against them
At a recent election rally in Delhi, union minister and BJP MP Anurag Thakur led the crowd in chanting “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maro saalon ko!” (Shoot those who are enemies of the nation). The BJP’s West Bengal state president Dilip Ghosh also threatened to shoot and kill those involved in damaging public property during the protests, “like it was done in Uttar Pradesh”. He stated that the protestors should have been “shot like dogs”.
Instead of introspecting on the many concerns about the CAA being raised by people from all regions of the country and all sections of society, the government has chosen to embark on a spree of brutal repression – lathi-charging peaceful protestors, making arbitrary arrests and abusing and torturing detainees. Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of UP, has issued notices to the families of suspected protestors asking for lakhs of rupees as compensation for the damages done to public property during the protests.
There is a clear Islamophobic undertone in all of these statements and actions, and Muslims have been frequently singled out as targets of abuse and violence. In fact, most of those who have been killed and arrested during the protests have been Muslims.
The refusal of the BJP leadership to give legitimacy to and engage with protestors, who have by and large been peaceful in putting forth their demands, is a reflection of its essentially undemocratic and authoritarian worldview. This contemptuous and cold-blooded response has influenced public perception of the protestors and the nature of their demands, and incited radical elements to violence.
The Socialist Party (India) condemns these attempts to disturb the peaceful nature of the ongoing anti-CAA movement and demands that the government take action against all those who have made violent, provocative and misleading statements against the protestors.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Sandeep Pandey
Vice President, Socialist Party (India)
Twitter: @spiinfo, @sandeep4justice