Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gautam Gambhir yesterday slammed party leader Kapil Mishra for his “provocative” remark amid clashes that has claimed 10 lives and injured many others in the national capital.
“This is unfortunate. Whoever – whether from the BJP, the Congress or the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) – has done this, strict action must be taken against them. Kapil Mishra’s speech is not acceptable. This is about Delhi, not about any political party,” Gambhir said after visiting a hospital where policemen injured in the violence are being treated.
Going against the stated policy, Gambhir called the Shaheen Bagh protest “peaceful”.
“Shaheen Bagh was peaceful protest all this while. But US President Donald Trump is here and there are violent protests – this is not fair,” he said.
While defending the right to a peaceful protest, he hit out at the violence that rocked the national capital. “How can you stand with a pistol in front of a cop,” he asked, referring to the photograph from the Jaffrabad area that has gone viral.
Mishra, in a video that has also gone viral, is seen telling people in the presence of police that they would “hit the streets” in three days if the blockade against the new citizenship law was not cleared.
While Mishra has been widely criticised for the statement, he defended it. Hitting out at nay-sayers, he tweeted, “It’s me who is receiving death threats...Only terror sympathisers have problems with me.”
The clashes between anti- and pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activists have claimed 10 lives and left more than 130 injured. Head constable Ratan Lal died on Monday, while several injured security personnel are hospitalised.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear a plea filed by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and others seeking registration of cases in connection with the violence.
The plea also cited Mishra’s tweet and held him responsible for inciting and orchestrating the attack.
The court is also slated to hear today two separate petitions seeking removal of protesters at Shaheen Bagh.
The Congress slammed the government for not listening to the voice of the people and going ahead with the controversial law.
Expressing shock at continuing violence, former finance minister P Chidambaram said: “We had warned that CAA was deeply divisive and should be repealed or abandoned. Our warning fell on deaf ears. The people are paying the price for putting in power insensitive and short-sighted leaders.”
The senior Congress leader also reiterated that it was not too late and the CAA could be put in “abeyance” till the Supreme Court pronounced the validity of the law.
“Even now it is not too late. The government should listen to the voices of the anti-CAA protesters and declare that the CAA will be kept in abeyance until the Supreme Court pronounced on its validity,” added Chidambaram.
The Congress leader also said that India has citizenship law since 1955 and it does not need to be amended.
“India has lived with the Citizenship Act 1955 without the amendment. Why does the act need an amendment now? The amendment (CAA) should be abandoned forthwith.”