Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday were heard shouting “goli maaro” (shoot them) slogan in Kolkata while marching towards a rally of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The goli maaro slogan is said to have fuelled the violence that erupted in Delhi last week, apart from several hate speeches, leading to horrific violence that killed over 40 persons and leaving over 200 injured. The slogan became the centre of controversy in the run-up to the Delhi state elections of early February, with Union minister of state Anurag Thakur attending a rally in which it was raised.
Amit Shah’s rally in Kolkata, that followed a similar one in Odhisha’s Bhubaneswar two days earlier, did not have the Home Minister of the country mention the Delhi violence even once. The Opposition, including the Congress party, has demanded Shah’s resignation following the Delhi violence.
After Shah’s rally in Kolkata, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, the party chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, took to Twitter to attack him: “Rather than coming and preaching #Bengal @AmitShah you should have explained and aplogised for failing to save more than 50 innocent lives in #DelhiViolence right under your nose. Mr Shah, Bengal is better off without bigotry and hatred that BJP is trying to spread”. Abhishek Banerjee was targeted by Shah several times during his speech.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress demanded arrest of those who had raised the slogans. CPM leader Md Salim said that he was not at all surprised. “If Amit Shah comes to Kolkata, goli maaro gang will also come. Unfortunately, the police did not stop the slogans.”
The CPM has called for a rally on Monday to protest this.