23/12/2019 2:33 PM IST

Pro-CAA Rallies Trigger Widespread Anger With Incendiary Slogans

This comes after BJP member Kapil Mishra was seen raising the same slogan in a video from a march in favour of CAA.

Students shout slogans during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Bangalore, December 20, 2019. 

To counter the growing protests and agitation across the country against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, BJP is holding rallies in support of the new law. 

The BJP plans to reach out to three crore families, hold over 1,000 programmes, and 250 press conferences “to clear the doubts people have about the Citizenship Amendment Act”, The Week quoted BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav as saying.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BJP campaign for the Delhi elections on Sunday and assured “Muslim citizens of India that this law will not change anything for them”.

At one such pro-CAA rally on Sunday in Nagpur, the demonstrators raised slogans that have angered many on Twitter. The crowd, as this Scroll piece pointed out, chanted, “desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko”.

The rally was organised by Lok Adhikar Manch, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), RSS and other organisations, according to ANI. The march from Yashwant Stadium to Samvidhan Chowk was attended by former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis among other leaders, The Indian Express reported. 

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari addressed the rally at Samvidhan Chowk and said the CAA is not against the Muslim community in India. 

This comes soon after a video of BJP member Kapil Mishra shouting the same slogan during a march surfaced on social media. Mishra, according to Scroll, claimed it was a peaceful demonstration in favour of the new Citizenship Act. The march happened at Delhi’s Connaught Place on 20 December. 

When contacted by The Indian Express, Mishra said he stood by his slogan and “did not instigate anyone to take the law into their hands”. “Our slogans have not instigated anyone to indulge in violence. Has anyone killed or threatened people? Those who are questioning me don’t have the courage to question those who are setting buses on fire and hitting policemen,” he told The Indian Express.

The pro-CAA rallies and open support by BJP leaders for these divisive slogans  have angered many on Twitter, with some asking how these slogans were allowed while people in Delhi weren’t even allowed to protest peacefully. 

Some Twitter users also compared the slogans and chants at an anti-CAA protest with the ones raised in the pro-CAA march.  

The Delhi Police imposed Section 144 in several cities ahead of planned protests against CAA on 19 December. In Delhi, Section 144 was imposed around Red Fort and the police detained several protesters, including Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav. A number of political leaders, including D Raja and Sitaram Yechury, were also detained at Mandi House.

“We were detained and then taken in buses and dropped at different areas. I was dropped off near Karol Bagh while some others have been taken to Bawana,” CPI General Secretary D Raja told PTI after he was let off.

Airtel and Vodafone confirmed that as per government orders, mobile internet services were suspended in some areas of the national capital. 

The Delhi Police used water cannons to disperse a crowd marching towards Jantar Mantar from Delhi Gate on December 20, according to The Telegraph

Historian Ramachandra Guha, who was among many detained in Bengaluru during an anti-CAA protest, said it was “absolutely undemocratic” that police were not allowing even a peaceful protest, which is the democratic right of citizen.