New Delhi: While Opposition parties of West Bengal took out rallies in different parts of Kolkata in protest against the one-day visit of Union home minister Amit Shah to the city on Sunday, BJP workers en route the rally venue raised the ‘Desh ke gaddaron ko goli maro saalon ko‘ slogan, reported PTI.
Videos have been shared on social media which show BJP supporters and workers also shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ while on their way to the rally venue.
‘Goli maro’ slogan by BJP supporters going to @AmitShah rally at Shahid Minar in Kolkata today.pic.twitter.com/cLTF7oOeBm
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) March 1, 2020
The incendiary slogan, which translates loosely to ‘shoot the traitors’ has been used by the likes of BJP leader and Union minister Anurag Thakur. The call which Thakur gave before the Delhi assembly election is believed to have resonated enough to have become the rallying cry of the rightwing in the Delhi communal violence.
Protests across city
As Shah arrived in the city in the morning, hundreds of Left and Congress protesters, carrying black flags and anti-CAA posters, demonstrated outside the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport and raised ‘go back’ slogans.
Later in the day, a minor scuffle broke out between police personnel and protesters in Esplanade area when agitators reportedly tried to break the barricade and enter Shahid Minar Ground where Shah is scheduled to hold a rally, a senior police officer said.
“Though nobody was arrested in the incident, police will act strictly if the situation goes out of control,” he said.
CPI(M) Legislature Party leader Sujan Chakraborty led a large rally in Santoshpur in south Kolkata while Congress activists took out a protest march from Beckbagan to Park Circus and burnt an effigy of the Union home minister.
CPI(M)-affiliated SFI and DYFI also took out rallies in Shyambazar, Gariahat, Behala, Kaikhali and Entally areas.
“Kolkata had shouted ‘go back’ slogans during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city in January. We will not allow Shah to hold a rally here. He (Shah) is not welcome here. Hands of both these leaders are soaked in the blood of people killed in Gujarat riots. The Union home minister is equally responsible for the violence in Delhi,” Chakraborty said.
The CPI(M) leader hit out at the West Bengal government for granting permission for Shah’s rally.
“The understanding between the Modi and the Mamata governments is the reason why permission was granted to hold a rally even when class 12 board examinations are around and blaring of loudspeakers is prohibited. This is a courtesy of the state government to Shah,” Chakraborty said.
Citizenship for all
Shah, at his rally, asserted that the Narendra Modi government will not stop until and unless all refugees in the country are granted citizenship under the CAA.
He said BJP will form the next government in Bengal with two-third majority after the 2021 assembly polls.
Accusing opposition parties, including the TMC, of misguiding the refugees and minorities, Shah said not a single person will lose citizenship as a result of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“The opposition is terrorising minorities… I assure every person from the minority community that CAA only provides citizenship, does not take it away. It won’t affect your citizenship,” the home minister said.
“We will not stop until and unless all the refugees are granted citizenship,” he added.
Shah also launched the BJP’s ‘Aar Noi Annay’ (no more injustice) campaign in West Bengal at the rally.
(With PTI inputs)