Kolkata: The communal conflagration in Delhi was “state-sponsored planned genocide”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged on Monday and claimed an attempt was being made by the BJP to replicate the “Gujarat model of riots” across the country.
Banerjee, while addressing a TMC event, insisted it was due to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that “so many people were killed” in the Delhi violence. “Amit Shah should keep this in mind”.
Delhi violence planned genocide: Mamata
The Trinamool Congress supremo also condemned those who raised the controversial “goli maro…” slogan while heading to Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally in the city on Sunday.
“I am deeply pained by the killing of innocent people in Delhi. I think it’s a planned genocide. I am calling it a genocide because it was state-sponspored violence that was later projected as riots. Delhi police is under the Centre.
There was Delhi police, CRPF, CISF but nobody did anything, everybody was inactive,” she alleged.
Banerjee hit back at Shah, who had expressed “anguish” over the law and order situation in Bengal at his Kolkata rally, demanding that the BJP apologise for the Delhi violence before lecturing others.
“Why hasn’t BJP apologised for it? Then they come here and shamelessly say they will capture (kabza) West Bengal. The BJP is trying to replicate the Gujarat model of riots across India, including in West Bengal. After the Gujarat riots of 2002, they did it in Uttar Pardesh and now Delhi,” she said.
Her stinging remarks came in the backdrop of opposition CPI(M) and Congress questioning her “silence” on Delhi violence that has left over 42 people dead and more than 200 injured. Though she had not condemned the killings in speech, Banerjee had penned a poem a few days ago voicing her concern over the orgy of violence.
She urged TMC workers to hold state-wide rallies against the communal riots in the national capital and also raise funds to help the victims.
Condemning the goli maaro… chants by alleged BJP supporters during Shah’s rally, Banerjee said nobody who raised such divisive slogans will be spared by police.
“The slogan is incendiary, provocative and illegal.
All who raised it will be penalised and law will take its own course. Its Kolkata, not Delhi. Its Bengal. Police has already taken action,” she said.
The Kolkata police on Monday arrested three BJP supporters for allegedly raising the provocative slogan.
“Those who talk about Bengal’s law and order…tell me why the BJP leader who instigated the violence has not been booked and arrested? Why no action has been taken against Yogiji (Yogi Adityanath) for his hate speeches?” she asked.
Banerjee asked party workers to help police identify from media footage others involved in raising the slogan but urged them not to take law into their hands.
She alleged the BJP relied on either inciting riots or whipping up war frenzy to win elections.
“Despite losing one election after the other since last year it is shamelessly boasting about capturing Bengal”.
The feisty Bengal politician alleged that the CPI(M) and Congress had a tacit understanding with the BJP and they ensured the victory of its candidates in the Lok Sabha polls in the state by splitting anti-BJP votes.
“Yesterday, he (Shah) said that they will set a target of winning 200 seats in Bengal (in the Assembly elections).
Why not all 294 seats? Because they only want to target Trinamool Congress seats and not those of CPI(M) and Congress. We will target all the seats,” she said.
Reacting to Banerjee’s allegation, senior BJP leader Babul Supriyo said, “She doesn’t understand the meaning of genocide and should think twice before speaking such things.”
The Union minister said peace had returned to Delhi and Banerjee should stop making provocative comments. If she has any suggestions, she should meet Amit Shah, he said.
CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim called Banerjee’s remarks “a staged drama” as her police stood as a “mute spectator” when provocative slogans were raised.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh critised the TMC government for its failure to act against those who chant “anti-India’ slogans.