The shooting at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh — the epicentre of the protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act — triggered a war of words between the capital’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP. Each side blamed the other for the incident – AAP because the Delhi Police is under the control of the Centre and the BJP alleging Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s links with Pakistan.
Hours after 25-year-old Kapil Gujjar opened fire standing near police barricades at the south Delhi locality, Mr Kejriwal took on Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a tweet.
“Amit Shah ji, what have you done to our Delhi? There’s shooting in broad daylight. The law and order has gone for a toss. Elections will come and go, politics will continue, but for the sake of the people of Delhi, please focus on law and order,” his tweet in Hindi read.
अमित शाह जी, ये आपने क्या हाल बना रखा है हमारी दिल्ली का। दिनदहाड़े गोलियां चल रहीं है। कानून व्यवस्था की खुलेआम धज्जियां उड़ाई जा रही है। चुनाव आते जाते रहेंगे, राजनीति भी चलती रहेगी, लेकिन दिल्ली के लोगों की ख़ातिर, कृपया कानून व्यवस्था ठीक करने पर ध्यान दीजिए। https://t.co/sMg2BedUsJ
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 1, 2020
The response came, not from Amit Shah but Yogi Adityanath, who is one of the key campaigners of the BJP for the Delhi assembly elections slated for February 8.
“Enemies of India, who speak the language of Pakistan, are creating disorder by protesting everywhere. Protests against CAA and a Pakistani minister releasing a statement in favour of Kejriwal, it all looks linked,” Yogi Adityanath said at an public meeting in Delhi.
The reference was to a tweet by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain, who had called upon the people of Delhi to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the assembly elections.
Mr Kejriwal had issued a blistering reply, reminding Pakistan that Narendra Modi was his Prime Minister too. “Delhi Election is India’s internal matter, and we won’t tolerate interference of the supporters of terrorism,” his tweet read.
The protest at Shaheen Bagh has been pitched as an election issue by the BJP leaders through hate speech from its leaders and the rhetoric of nationalism from its supporters. The party’s Union minister Anurag Thakur and MP Parvesh Verma have been handed 72-hour and 96-hour bans by the Election Commission for their hate speeches.
On Monday, Anurag Thakur, was caught on camera at a rally in North West Delhi, egging on a crowd to chant a slogan that calls for gunning down “traitors”. A day later, Parvesh Verma said: “Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them. There’s time today… Modi-ji and Amit Shah won’t come to save you tomorrow”.
Barely 48 hours ago, a teenger had fired a pistol at a group of anti-CAA protesters outside the Jamia Milia University, injuring a student. Before walking away, he was seen waving the firearm over his head, shouting “Yeh lo Azaadi“.