BJP MP Gautam Gambhir hit out at party colleague Kapil Mishra’s provocative speech on Sunday, a day before large-scale violence broke out in Delhi over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying strict action must be taken against those responsible irrespective of their allegiance.
“This is unfortunate. Whoever has done this, strict action must be taken – whether from BJP, Congress or AAP. Kapil Mishra’s speech is not acceptable. This is about Delhi not about any political party,” Mr Gambhir said as he visited a hospital where injured policemen are being treated.
“Shaheen Bagh was a peaceful protest all this while. But Trump is here and there are violent protests happening here – this is not fair. Right to peaceful protest is okay. But picking up stones is not. How can you stand with a pistol in front of a cop?” he added.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who unsuccessfully contested this month’s Delhi election, has been widely condemned for his incendiary speeches since protests broke out against the CAA over two months ago, including shouting slogans “shoot the traitors”.
In a video that he himself posted on Twitter on Sunday, the leader had openly threatened to “hit the streets” and “not remain peaceful” in front of a senior cop giving him a three-day ultimatum to wind up the protests in north-east Delhi.
Just hours after Mr Mishra’s rally, clashes erupted in north-east Delhi between thousands demonstrating for and against the new citizenship law that have killed 10 people, including a policeman dead, and around 150 injured over the last two days.
Homes, shops and vehicles have been set on fire and the situation showed no signs of improvement on Tuesday. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who controls the capital’s police force, met with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and senior officials.
Senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla praised Mr Gambhir’s statement saying, “Gautam Gambhir’s statement is welcome. He has demanded stern action against BJP leader Kapil Mishra for his provocative speech. He has spoken like a true sportsman. We need leaders like Gautam.”