In Heart Of Kolkata, “Goli Maaro” Slogan At Amit Shah Rally

Ghughuti Bulletin

BJP supporters were seen raising provocative slogans in Kolkata after Amit Shah’s rally.


The aftershocks of the Delhi violence — said to be fuelled by hate speeches — still continuing, the hate spewing “goli maaro” slogan was heard near a rally in the heart of Kolkata this evening. The rally was addressed by Union minister Amit Shah, who spoke in favour of the contentious citizenship law and accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “triggering riots” and “burning trains” to stop the law.

Video footage from the spot showed men, dressed in saffron and waving BJP flags, shouting the slogan, which roughly translates as “shoot all those who betray the nation” while on their way to the rally.  A policeman could be seen shepherding the crowd.

Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, whom Amit Shah had attacked thrice in his speech, soon hit back.

Mr Shah, Bengal is better off without bigotry and hatred that BJP is trying to spread.

Hate speech by a section of senior BJP leaders and ministers was seen as a key reason for the violence in Delhi that flared up earlier this week. It started as clashes between supporters and opponents of the law, meant to expedite citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who had to flee due t religious persecution.

But soon, the violence spiralled. For more than four days, goons armed with iron rods, stones and hockey sticks took to the street, thrashing, burning and looting. By the end of it, 43 people were dead, and more than 250 were injured.   

In Kolkata, the circumstances reflect the pattern. For weeks, the city has been witnessing several Shaheen Bagh-inspired sit-in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Chief Minister has been one of the vocal opponents of the law, and held several marches against it in Kolkata and the outskirts.

She has also stopped the exercise of the National Population Register – which the opposition says will contribute towards the National Register of Citizens. The NRC, taken together with CAA, would be used to target Muslims, the opposition has alleged.

The suggestion of the use of bullets against “traitors” and “terrorists” — used to describe protesters against the CAA and NRC — came from a huge section of senior BJP leaders and ministers in the run-up to the Delhi assembly election held last month.

But after the Arvind Kejriwal  government returned to power with another overwhelming majority, Amit Shah had admitted the possibility that the hate speeches had contributed to the BJP’s dismal performance.

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