An incendiary communal slogan “Goli maro s#*lon ko, Hindu ke gaddaron ko (Shoot the traitors of Hinduism)”—frighteningly reminiscent of then-minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur’s January 2020 election rally slogan “Desh ke gaddaron ko”, to which the crowd had responded “Goli maro s#*lon (Shoot the traitors)” against anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, (CAA) protesters—echoed at Sector 12A, Gurugram, on Friday.
A day after Diwali on Govardhan Puja, organised by the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti at a public land where Muslims had been offering Namaz under police protection every Friday, the slogan was raised in the presence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra, whose warning to the police to clear anti-CAA protesters from Jaffrabad is believed to have instigated the 2020 Delhi riots, The Wire reported.
Right-wing outfits and local residents have been protesting against Muslims offering Namaz in Gurugram for two weeks. The district administration withdrew the permission for Namaz at eight of the 37 designated sites on Tuesday despite the arrest of 26 protesters, including members of right-wing outfits, for trying to disrupt Friday Namaz, The Indian Express had reported.
A man identified as Amit Hindu, who led the slogan “Goli maro s#*lon ko, Hindu ke gaddaron ko” during the Govardhan Puja, is apparently close to Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, infamous for his hate speeches, according to The Wire, which looked at his Facebook profile (which has now been locked). His Facebook profile has several of his pictures with Narsinghanand.
On April 27, Amit’s six friends were arrested by Sector 53 police “for outraging religions feelings, disturbing religious worship and criminal intimidation”, the Hindustan Times had reported.
Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar and Dinesh Bharathi, president, Bharat Mata Vahini—both infamous for hate speeches—were present while Amit raised the communal slogan. During a speech at the Pataudi Mahapanchayat in June, according to The Wire, Manesar had demanded the killing of Muslim men resorting to “love jihad”. Seeking a list of “love jihadis” who must be eliminated by his team, he said that “big brother”, an apparent reference to the BJP, would “save” his men,
Manesar uploaded a video on his Instagram page showing a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader saying, “It is not just in Gurugram, but across the nation, public Namaz will be stopped. This is not Namaz; it is jihad, it is terrorism.”
Bharathi, who has played the most prominent role in trying to stop Namaz in public places in Gurugram since April, warned the administration that he and his supporters would “take up swords” against Muslims offering Namaz in the area if the administration does not act.
Bharathi was arrested on his way to the Jantar Mantar rally in August in which there was a call for boycotting and murdering Muslims. According to The Wire, Bharathi had been one of the speakers at the Mewat Mahapanchayat in support of those who had lynched Asif Khan.
Referring to last year’s Shaheen Bagh protests, which faced threats from Hindutva supporters, Mishra said, “Nobody has the right to shut down roads. This is not a part of any religion nor can it be … Will you block the streets in Gurgaon? Will you block streets in Delhi? Blocking streets is not a part of religion; it is to block the country, facilities and the economy.”
Calling the Shaheen Bagh protests a tamasha, Mishra said, “Do not use roads for your politics. We had seen it in Shaheen Bagh. They had done a tamasha by blocking all the roads. Has the CAA been revoked?”
As Mishra spoke, the protestors raised the slogan “Sector 12 sirf Jhaanki hai, pura Gurugram baaki hai”, a spin on the common slogan “Ayodhya sirf jhanki hai, Kashi Mathura baaki hai (Ayodhya is a mere teaser; Kasi and Mathura are still left).”
Supporting the residents of the area who had objected to Friday Namaz, Mishra said, “If a local citizen objects, nobody has any constitutional rights to sit on the streets. In this country, most land belongs to your Waqf Board. Make arrangements for your prayers there.”
Warning Muslims of retaliation, Mishra said, “There were no mosques here before. Aren’t they there today? Doesn’t that mean that nobody has stopped them from being built? Nobody was against it and nobody pushed you back. But if you push us back against the wall, then it’s necessary to give a pushback.”