New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party’s West Bengal state president Dilip Ghosh on Sunday threatened to shoot and kill those involved in damaging public property during anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests, “like it was done in Uttar Pradesh”.
The protesters, he said, should have been “shot like dogs”.
Addressing a public meeting in Nadia district, Ghosh came down heavily on chief minister Mamata Banerjee “for not opening fire and ordering lathicharge” on those destroying railway property and public transport during the protests in the state in December.
“Is it the father’s property of those who are setting public property on fire? How can they destroy government property built on taxpayers’ money!” Ghosh said.
Watch how BJP WB President Dilip Ghosh says
“In Assam, UP and Karnataka, the BJP Govt shot protestors like Dogs”
Who are you to justify shooting & call people of other states dogs?
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) January 13, 2020
He said, “The governments of Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka did the right thing by opening fire on these anti-national elements (during anti-CAA protests).”
The BJP leader said those involved in arson and damaging public property will be shot “like the same way in Uttar Pradesh”.
“They will come here, enjoy all the facilities and destroy country’s property. Is it their zamindari!” he asked.
Ghosh also called for identifying those “sabotaging the interests” of Hindu Bengalis. He claimed that there are two crore “Muslim infiltrators” in the country. “One crore is in West Bengal alone and Mamata Banerjee is trying to protect them,” he alleged.
While opposition leaders and activists have of course condemned his call for state-sponsored violence and murder, even BJP colleague and Union minister Babul Supriyo is not pleased with Ghosh’s remarks. “Very irresponsible of Dilip da to have said what he said,” the singer-turned-politician said on Monday.
BJP, as a party has nothing to do with what a DIlipGhosh may hv said•It is a figment of his imagination&BJP Govts in UP, Assam hv NEVER EVER resorted to shooting people for whatever reason whatsoever•Very irresponsible of DilipDa to hv said what he said https://t.co/aXF8pmJtAR
— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) January 13, 2020
He added that it was a “figment of [Ghosh’s] imagination” that BJP-ruled governments shot at people. However, a number of protesters’ deaths in Assam, UP and Karnataka have been attributed to police firing. All three are BJP states, and have been criticised for the .
Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao said Ghosh was trying to bully people into silence. He also asked why Ghosh did not want violent ABVP students in Jawaharlal Nehru University to be shot at.
The language you use is the language of a bully, out to subjugate people with the might of the govt machinery. https://t.co/WEQmW1Uxdj
— ದಿನೇಶ್ ಗುಂಡೂರಾವ್/ Dinesh Gundu Rao (@dineshgrao) January 13, 2020
Congress’s Nadeem Javed too condemned Ghosh’s remarks.
BJP should be ashamed of leaders like the West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh.
His statement is condemnable and openly instigates hatred & violence against the protesters.
We demand an immediate apology for this derogatory statement. https://t.co/K5TdalmILo
— Nadeem Javed (@nadeeminc) January 13, 2020
(With PTI inputs)