Days after the Delhi High Court frowned upon a speech made by him in Northeast Delhi, seen as one of the triggers for the riots that left 42 dead, BJP leader Kapil Mishra took out a march metres from the Capital’s VIP areas on Saturday where calls were made to shoot traitors.
Mishra’s ‘peace march’, including roughly 1,200 people, began from Jantar Mantar and proceeded to make its way to Connaught Place and Janpath, without police permission, amid slogans of ‘Kisi ko mat maaf karo, jihaadiyon ko saaf karo (Don’t spare anyone, wipe out jihadis)’ and ‘Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko’. It was flanked by security personnel.
With Mishra were people who claimed to have received injuries in the Delhi riots, in Bhajanpura, Shiv Vihar, Karawal Nagar and New Mustafabad areas, with bandages on their faces. A mini-truck accompanied them, with a flexboard carrying photos of Head Constable Ratan Lal, Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma and Vinod Kashyap, who were among those killed in the riots. Slogans were also raised of ‘Modi ke samman mein, deshbhakt maidan mein (The patriots are in the field in support of Modi)’ and ‘Ankit Sharma ka yeh balidan, yaad rakhhega Hindustan (The country will remember Ankit Sharma’s sacrifice)’.
An NGO called the Delhi Peace Forum was the organiser of the procession.
Mishra, who did not address the protesters, told The Sunday Express, “The march was against ‘jihadi violence’ and for the people who have suffered losses.”
It started around 11 am from Jantar Mantar, where chairs and a sound system had been set up. Participants carried the Tricolour as well as placards of ‘Shanti March’ and other slogans, as well as photos of B R Ambedkar.
DCP (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said the procession did not have permission to march towards Connaught Place and Janpath, but added, “No one was detained as it was a peaceful march. No complaint has been received against any kind of slogans raised at the march, so no FIR has been registered.”
Men shouting “desh ke gaddaaron ko, goli maaron saaron ki” in broad daylight, in the middle of Delhi, at Rajiv Chowk metro station, earlier this morning. This is how Hindu terror is normalised. Please amplify. Everyone should know the dangerous direction this country is taking. pic.twitter.com/80cKO95MF8
— Mini Saxena (@mini_s1992) February 29, 2020
The protesters also demanded action against suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for Sharma’s death. Other banners asked why “Ratan Lal was killed”, “temples and schools were burnt”. One poster declared, “Mil kar bolen hum Bharat waasi, CAA virodhi khoon ke pyaasi (All of us Indians say it together, the protesters against the CAA are blood-thirsty)”.
Earlier, around 10.45 am Saturday, at the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station close to where Mishra’s march was held, a few men caused a commotion when they raised slogans of “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko”. DCP (Metro) Vikram Porwal said six men had been detained and questioned. “They were found to be students and had no criminal antecedents. They were released after due verification.” No case was registered against them.
Speaking at a Times Now event after the Delhi election results, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that slogans like shoot the traitors raised by Mishra, and other party leaders, during the run-up to the polls, may have hurt the party. On Friday, senior Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the BJP didn’t approve of such language.
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