Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday strongly condemned the “Goli maaro…(shoot the traitors)” slogans that were reportedly raised by a section of BJP workers on their way to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally at Shahid Minar ground in Kolkata.
“I condemn those who raised the ‘goli maaro…’ slogan on the Kolkata streets. This is not Delhi and we will not tolerate this. Law will take its own course,” Banerjee said.
“If you did something illegal, you will have to face the consequences. Police have already arrested three persons. The police will take action in this case,” she added.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also termed last week’s violence in northeast Delhi as “genocide” and said she was deeply pained by the death of several people.
“The Delhi riot was a planned genocide. We know the central government has full control over the Delhi police. They have CRPF, CISF, Army, so how did this incident happen? We now heard that several people are missing and that the number may be more than 700. I wish they are all well,” she said at the launch of the party’s new campaign #BGM or ‘Banglar Gorbo Mamata’ (Bengal’s pride Mamata) at Netaji Indoor Stadium here.
So far, 46 people have died in the violence that broke out last Sunday in northeast Delhi areas of Jafrabad, Shiv Vihar, Mustafabad and Seelampur.
Banerjee also accused the BJP of trying to implement the ‘Gujarat model of riots’ across the country.
The chief minister also said that those affected in Delhi may seek shelter in Bengal. She further directed Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien and Lok Sabha MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay to gather funds to help those in need.
Ahead of the assembly elections next year, party workers will require to visit households to explain why Banerjee is the only alternative for the state.
Shah on Sunday addressed a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act rally in Kolkata, amid protests by opposition parties who raised ‘Go back’ slogans outside the airport. He also inaugurated a new building of National Security Guards at Rajarhat before reaching the venue of the rally. Protesters also put up demonstrations near the Municipal Corporation headquarters.
Later in the day, CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim said it took just one visit from the Home Minister to spread the ‘Goli maaro’ slogan in the city.
“All it took was one visit of Amit Shah to spread the “Goli maaro saalon ko” slogan in Kolkata. The followers of Godse might be impressed with “Goli” but Bengal is the land of Vivekananda, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Tagore. #GoBackAmitShah,” Salim wrote on Twitter.
Leader of Indian National Congress in Lok Sabha Adir Chowdhury accused the BJP of trying to spread violence in Kolkata similar to that of Delhi. “After spreading violence in Delhi, now BJP is trying to create the same situation in Bengal. Such slogans just reflect that. We all have to come together to resist them. he said. Echoing the same, Congress MLA Manoj Chakraborty also blamed the Kolkata Police for inaction. “What is Trinamool Congress’s police doing? Why such BJP supporters are not arrested?” he asked.
When news agency PTI contacted a senior Kolkata Police officer, he refused to comment on the incident. However, he assured strict action against “anybody trying to disrupt the law and order situation in the city”.