Even as an uneasy calm settled over parts of riot-hit Northeast Delhi, BJP leader Kapil Mishra, accused of delivering hate speeches before the violence broke out, on Saturday participated in a peace march at Jantar Mantar.
The massive rally which passed through Connaught Place, however, saw some “inflammatory” slogans also being raised.
The march was organised by the Delhi Peace Forum, an NGO, against the communal violence that claimed several lives in northeast Delhi.
Slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ rent the air as hundreds of people gathered at the place carrying the tricolour. However, some factions of the march raised slogans of “shoot the traitors” and “bring the traitors out”.
The protesters used “#DelhiAgainstJehadiViolence” in almost all placards and the same was used by Mishra in one of his tweets.
Kapil Mishra was seated below the stage and among the crowd. He also did not deliver any speech and in fact, did not go to the stage.
Mishra had tweeted in the morning requesting people to reach Jantar Mantar to participate in the peace march.
As Mishra arrived at Jantar Mantar, his supporters raised slogans comparing him to lion (dekho dekho kaun aaya, sher aaya, sher aaya).
The peace march was also participated by those whose shops and houses were burnt.
However, some of the placards read – ‘Why Ratan Lal was killed’, ‘Why temples were burnt’, ‘why schools were set ablaze’ and ‘Terror in the name of anti-CAA protest will not be allowed’.
There were some retired Army officers on the stage who said that the Citizenship Amendment Act is not against Indian citizens.
Meanwhile, BJP MP from West Delhi, Parvesh Verma, on Saturday announced that he will donate a month’s salary that he draws as a member of parliament to the family members of deceased Delhi cop and IB staffer.
He tweeted: “I will meet the families of those who were martyred while performing their duties during the unfortunate violence in Delhi. I donate a month’s salary that I draw as a Member of Parliament to the families of the Head Constable of Shahid Ratan Lal and IB Officer Shaheed Ankit Sharma.” He ended the tweet by saying ‘Jai Hind’.
Sharma’s body was recovered from a drain on Wednesday. Sharma’s autopsy report said that he was brutally stabbed more than 400 times. His family has alleged that now suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain’s supporters brutally assaulted Sharma and killed him.
BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Pravesh Verma and Anurag Thakur have been accused of alleged hate speeches and thereby inciting violence in the national capital.
The Delhi High Court had on Wednesday directed the Delhi Police to take a “conscious decision” on the registration of FIRs against the political leaders.
However, hours later, in a major turn of events, Justice Muralidhar, who headed the bench, was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which the Centre has termed as “routine affair”.
On Thursday, a new bench of the Delhi High Court gave the Centre four weeks to file its response in the case while making it a party in the matter. It also adjourned the matter till April 13.
The violence started on Saturday last week after BJP leader Kapil Mishra carried out a rally in Jaffrabad area and gave a three-day ultimatum to the anti-CAA protesters in the area to clear. “Three days’ ultimatum for Delhi Police – clear the roads in Jaffrabad and Chand Bagh. After this, we won’t listen to you,” he declared. In a video of the speech, he can be seen making these incendiary comments even as a Delhi Police officer stands next to him.
At least 42 people have lost their lives while over 350 have been injured in the deadliest violence in the national capital in decades after clashes between the supporters and opponents of CAA.