'Hate Speech': Anurag Thakur Accuses Journalist of Lying, Calls For Action Against Rioters

The Union minister's call to 'shoot the traitors' is among the many lines uttered by BJP leaders which resonated enough to snowball into the Delhi riots which killed more than 40.

New Delhi: Union minister Anurag Thakur, whose call to ‘shoot the traitors’ before the Delhi assembly polls is believed to have begun a particularly violent tradition of hate speeches which resulted in the Delhi riots, on Sunday said action should be taken against those involved in the communal riots in the national capital which claimed over 40 lives.

At the same Income Tax department press conference on Sunday, the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs also responded to a question on him having having said “goli maro saalon ko” (‘shoot the traitors’) with the retort that the journalist was lying and that media should have “full knowledge on facts.”

Also read: I Would’ve Arrested Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra: Ex Delhi Top Cop Ajay Raj Sharma on Riots

While he undoubtedly had said the first part of the infamous slogan, “Desh ke gaddaron ko…,” Thakur was probably referring to the fact that he did not say the second and quoted portion – it was the crowd responding to his call that said it.

First, Thakur was asked to comment on the alleged hate speeches made by him and other BJP leaders in the run-up to the Delhi elections and how such vitriolic speeches led to the riots in the city.

“Strict action should be taken against those involved in (Delhi) the riots. The strength of our country is that people of various faiths coexist and live unitedly contributing towards nation building,” Thakur said.

Further commenting on the communal riots, he said, “Police is doing its job….”

Asked again about his words, Thakur said, “I think sometimes there is lack of information in the media too regarding the way some things are projected.”

Evading further response on the issue, the Union minister chose to talk about the country’s economy.

“If you have questions on the economy, you should ask those..,” he said when media persons kept fielding questions about his alleged hate speech.

When journalists mentioned the wordings of the alleged hate speech, the BJP leader shot back, “This is not what I said…”

Also read: Delhi Riots: HC Asks Police to Decide on FIRs Against BJP Leaders by Tomorrow

Declining any further comment on the matter, the BJP leader said, “The matter is sub-judice. You (media) should have full facts (about his alleged hate speech). Half-baked information can be dangerous.. .

The Delhi high court had recently expressed anguish over the Delhi Police’s failure to register FIRs against three BJP leaders over their alleged hate speeches in connection with the CAA-related violence and asked the police commissioner to take a “conscious decision” on it.

The Congress has said it will strongly raise the issue of the communal riots in Delhi during the second part of the budget session of parliament starting on Monday and demand Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation over alleged police lapses in curbing the violence.