Using buckets of water from river Ganga and soap, members of the CPI-M and Congress student arms have ‘purified” the Shahid Minar Maidan where Union Home Minister and former BJP national president Amit Shah held a rally on Sunday.
Accusing the BJP of having “maligned” the historic ground with its ‘supporters’ raising the incendiary “Goli Maro” slogan while marching to the rally venue, the CPI-M affiliated Students Federation of India cadres and Congress loyalist Chhatra Parishad activists jointly carried out the “purification drive”.
“We used soap and water. Our friends from the Chhatra Parishad used Ganga water. Ours is a token protest against the communal tone and the raising of such inflammatory slogan,” said an SFI leader.
Besides the ground, they also washed the base of the landmark Shahid Minar (Martyr’s column) after which the ground gets its name.
On Sunday, a group of men holding BJP flags were heard chanting “Desh desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro sa**** ko” (shoot the traitors of the nation) on their way to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally at Shahid Minar.
On Monday, the Kolkata Police claimed to have arrested three BJP supporters for allegedly raising the provocative slogans.
The West Bengal BJP unit has come u8nder fire for the incident.
The men shouted the slogan while they were passing the Maidan Market in Esplanade en route to the rally venue Shahid Minar ground.
The state BJP leadership has, however, denied the involvement of any party worker in the incident and termed it as the “handiwork of the TMC (Trinamool Congress)”.
The inflammatory slogan was first chanted at a public rally addressed by Union Minister and BJP leader Anurag Thakur on January 27 in Delhi’s Rithala area. Thakur had allegedly egged on his audience to respond to the slogan.
The BJP leader stoked controversy as he was seen in a viral video seen raising the slogan “Desh ke gaddaro ko” and urging the crowd to complete the slogan with, “goli maaro saalo ko” (Shoot the traitors).
Home Minister Amit Shah was in Kolkata on Sunday to launch the BJP’s campaign in West Bengal by taking out a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act rally amid protests against his presence.
(With inputs from IANS)