Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) newly elected MLA from Laxmi Nagar constituency took out a march in East Delhi on Tuesday, 25th February along with his supporters. Incendiary slogans were allegedly raised by those walking behind him in the march. In a video posted on twitter by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh, people can be heard chanting “Police ke hatyaaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko [Shoot the people who murdered the policeman]”. This echoes what had been raised by BJP leader Kapil Mishra a few weeks earlier, leading to a Noida youth shooting at unarmed protestors in Shaheen Bagh.
While parading the streets of Mangal Bazaar, the group was also heard chanting “Jo Hindu hit ki baat karega, wohi desh pe raj karega” (People who talk about the welfare of Hindus, only they will rule in the country) and “Jai Shree Ram”. This came amidst ongoing violence and riots in the East Delhi region since Sunday between pro and anti-CAA protestors.
Mr. Verma, who is also the BJP state vice president told the Hindustan Times that he had only gone to the market to diffuse tensions. He had received phone calls on Tuesday evening from many people from the area who were worried about the riots and were hence closing down their shops. “As a public representative, I reached Vijay Chowk main market and urged shopkeepers to open the shops and assured that everything will be peaceful. To instil faith in the people we then took two rounds in the area. Because of this, there was no problem in the area and everything was peaceful.”
When The Hindu contacted Abhay Verma, he confirmed that the slogans were in fact raised, but only by common people in the area and not his supporters. “You see the videos, Im waving my hands and asking people not to raise the slogans. But in a mod, who will stop whom,” Mr. Verma told The Hindu on Wednesday. In the video, a person walking very close to Mr. Verma on his right side can be seen raising slogans, while the others that surrounded him completed them.
The BJP was attacked by AAP over raising these slogans. “Delhi is burning since last 48 hours. Home Minister @AmitShah has completely failed to control the law and order situation of Delhi. BJP Delhi vice-president who’s MLA from Laxmi Nagar can been seen inciting violence in Delhi. Will @AmitShah act?” AAP said in a tweet.