New Delhi: A day after a gun-weilding man opened fire at anti-CAA protesters injuring a student in Delhi's Jamia Nagar, the Jamia Teachers Association (JTA) condemned the incident and hit out at junior finance minister Anurag Thakur for instigating violence.
Thakur came under the scanner for raising the inflammatory slogan of "desh ke gaddaron ko goli maaro saalo k (shoot the traitors)" as he lashed out against the protesters at a poll rally in Delhi.
Calling the junior minister an "anti-national", the JTA said, "We are convinced that this shooting, which could have been fatal, was the direct result of the call to goli maro or shoot by an elected Member of Parliament, who is also the country’s Minister of State for Finance. Nothing can be more anti-national than a minister inciting citizens to violence from a public platform, and we severely condemn his words and action."
On Thursday, a peaceful protest turned violent after a man fired a pistol at a group of anti-CAA protesters, injuring Jamia student Shadab Farooq before walking away while waving the firearm over his head shouting "Yeh lo aazadi".
The agitating students were on their way to Rajghat to pay their tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary.
In a recorded condemnation, the JTA also questioned the role of police during the incident and said that the "unprovoked firing took place under the eyes of Delhi police, whose men looked on casually while the bullet was fired and only one uniformed policeman walked over to gently guide the shooter away from our students".
The teachers said that this elected representative violated both our Constitution and law by exhorting the public to violence.
The JTA also appreciated the restraint shown by their students "in the face of the grave provocation of their batchmate being injured in a shooting before their very eyes. It is a shame and irony that the cult of the bullet continues to predominate the national discourse in the world’s largest democracy".
Further, the teachers pointed our that if inclusiveness and equality are the values cherished by the government of today, they should re-think the contentious issues of CAA, NRC and NPR.
"When thousands across the country have severe reservations about a law, and have been vociferously expressing them, it is time for any government that truly respects democracy to take measures to resolve the concerns and fears of its citizens."
The teachers appealed to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh to allow the passage of traffic on one side of the road. "It would be an act of civic responsibility and sensitivity, and also a gesture of facilitation to all whose destinations would be easier to access," said the statement by Professor Majid Jamil, secretary, JTA.