Bengal Violence: BJP Leaders Evoke Gujarat Riots, Urge Hindus to Respond Strongly
While BJP MLA H Raja appealed to the Hindu community in the state to respond the way Hindus in Gujarat reacted in 2002, party spokesperson Nupur Sharma shared a photo of the 2002 riots on her Twitter account
A burnt vehicle seen at a road after a communal riot at Baduria in North 24 Pargana district of West Bengal. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: With Bengal’s Baduria and Basirhat districts on the boil, BJP leaders are working overtime to stir the communal pot by stoking memories of the 2002 Gujarat riots and calling on the Hindu community to respond stongly.
While BJP MLA H Raja appealed to the Hindu community in the state to respond the way Hindus in Gujarat reacted in 2002, party spokesperson Nupur Sharma shared a photo of the 2002 riots on her Twitter account and asked people to join a protest against the violence in West Bengal.
Raja, who is a lawmaker from Hyderabad, posted a video message on social media in which he exhorted “Bengal’s tigers” to awake and unite to protect their community. “Today, Hindus are not safe in the West Bengal state. Hindus in Bengal should respond to people involved in communal violence as Hindus in Gujarat did. Otherwise, soon Bengal will turn into Bangladesh,” he can be heard saying in the video.
He also blamed the West Bengal government for the tension in the state, saying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was supporting those who are creating communalism. “If you failed to attain security in the state then you will also face the consequences like Hindus in Kashmir faced. You will also be banished like Kashmiri Hindus,” he added in the video.
Nupur Sharma, on the other hand, tweeted a photo of a mob setting fire to a car and asked her followers to join her protest at the Jantar Mantar against the rising “lawlessness” in the state. The photo, however, was from the riots in Gujarat, as Twitter users quickly pointed out to her.
The Congress on Sunday slammed the BJP and said that by bringing up Gujarat riots, the party is trying to divide the society on communal lines. Party leader Meem Afzal said that the BJP is trying to provoke riots and violence in Bengal. “The statements by Raja Singh are shameful. By mentioning Gujarat riots, he is trying to claim that Modi government's persecution in Gujarat was justified,” he said.
There have been other cases, too, where fake images have been circulated on social media to incite violence. One person was arrested on Saturday in Bengal for sharing a still of a woman being disrobed from a Bhojpuri film and passing it off as an instance in the violence-hit districts of the state.
Banerjee has said that strict action will be taken against anyone found sharing fake images or trying to incite violence. Violence had broken out in the state after a Class 10 boy shared an objectionable post on Facebook. While the boy was apprehended, the clashes have not stopped so far.
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