A lawmaker from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, while contending for votes in the upcoming Delhi election, turned to spewing hateful remarks regarding Indian people protesting against the controversial law of citizenship by the government.
In an interview with Asian News International, Parvesh Verma said the demonstrators gathering in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh to protest against the controversial citizenship law of the country would “force their way into the home of people and rape their daughters and sisters before killing them.”
He added that in the upcoming elections New Delhi voters need to think carefully about which party they’ll pick.
For more than four weeks, hundreds of women have been blocking Shaheen Bagh in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act of the Indian Government and the National Citizens Register. Thousands across India, the women have encouraged the Hindu nationalist government to repeat their challenge.
“If the BJP forms a government in [ New Delhi ] there isn’t going to be a single protester in Shaheen Bagh,” the Indian newspaper reported as saying.
Verma also promised to remove all mosques built up on government land, according to the publication.
In appealing to the people of New Delhi, Verma urged them to ponder their choices carefully and “wake up while there was still time.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah will not come to save you tomorrow,” he said while speaking to ANI.
A day before those remarks, BJP leader Anurag Thakur had urged the rally participants to yell hateful remarks, calling for shooting the country’s “traitors.” Thakur was referring to those protesting against the new legislation on citizenship, according to an Indian news source.
Critics have said India’s new law is discriminatory because it excludes Muslims, who make up nearly 15% of the country’s population. Under the constitution, citizenship will be given to the oppressed Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who had fled Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan prior to 2015.
The Indian government says Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are Muslim-majority countries, so Muslims can not be seen as ‘persecuted minorities,’ which is the reason why they were removed from the offer of citizenship.
Nevertheless, critics have condemned the BJP-led government for including religion as a yardstick for citizenship, claiming that it is contrary to constitutional values, the constitution of India, and the country’s international obligations to prevent the denial of citizenship on the basis of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.