While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president J.P. Nadda and most of the party and the government’s top leadership have remained silent on the Delhi riots, which have resulted in 10 deaths so far, a section of party leaders is pointing fingers at those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“The timing of these riots creates suspicion about them being politically motivated. For over 60 days, people were protesting in Shaheen Bagh without any significant outcome. Our government believes that dissent has a place in democracy and they have the right to protest within the established process,” said national BJP spokesperson Gopal Krishna Agarwal.
“But indulging in such violence is not the way. Surely, when the head of a nation is in India and such violence is taking place, there is definitely a group, a politicial design behind it. This is being done to tarnish the image of India.”
A second BJP leader echoed the claim, saying the timing of the riots warranted an investigation.
“The home ministry is capable of taking care of the situation and Home Minister Amit Shah has already held a meeting with all political parties,” said Shahnawaz Hussain, who is also a BJP spokesperson.
“Delhi Police are also doing their job. It is important for everyone not to make such statements that can affect the peace of the city. At the same time, the timing of these riots is definitely questionable. The fact that they have coincided with President Trump’s visit should be investigated.”
Northeast Delhi remains tense
Riots in Northeast Delhi’s Jaffrabad-Maujpur area were first reported Sunday evening, and it remains tense amid reports of fresh stone-pelting and arson from Maujpur, Babarpur and Shivpuri.
The riots follow clashes between pro- and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters and have caused injuries to nearly 150 people. Shops and establishments have been shut as Delhi Police struggle to maintain law and order in the area.
Section 144 has been imposed and local residents prohibited from carrying weapons, sticks and any incendiary material.
According to another senior BJP leader, strict action will be taken against those indulging in violence and spreading rumours.
“Amit Shah ji has already held a meeting and action is being taken. We are also waiting for the US President’s visit to get over,” the leader said. “Some concrete action will be taken, which is not to say we are not doing anything right now.”
On Monday, junior home minister G. Kishan Reddy had sought to allege the opposition’s role in the violence. He also alleged a “conspiracy” to defame India timed to coincide with US President Trump’s visit.
“Congress party and Rahul Gandhi should reveal who is behind this Delhi violence to defame India, particularly when United States President Donald Trump is on a visit to the country,” Reddy was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “We have brought all the necessary forces and Home Minister Amit Shah has given orders to Delhi Police. Each person involved in the violence shall be identified.”
“This was planned to tarnish the image of India during the Trump event, how riots start before trump visit only?” said Shyam Jaju, BJP’s national vice president.