BJP Leader Says Anti-CAA Protestors Should Be Dealt With By “Surgical Strike”
In an openly bigoted statement, BJP National General Secretary C.T. Ravi has claimed that “surgical strike is an answer to those who oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a discriminatory bill that fast-tracks citizenship for religious minorities, excluding Muslims. Muslims have been protesting the CAA since 2019, facing police brutality, Hindu nationalist mobs, and other forms of violence.
Ravi’s remarks were not only inflammatory against citizens exercising their constitutional right to dissent, but also evoked the dangerous idea that military action should be taken against Indian Muslims. In India, “surgical strike” is a go-to term for Hindu nationalists, referring to an attack against Pakistan. As recently as November 4, Narendra Modi praised the Indian military for a surgical strike against Pakistan, claiming that it “filled everyone with pride.”
As India-Pakistan tensions remain high, Indian Muslims are often scapegoated as being pro-Pakistan, leading to further bigotry, violent attacks, arbitrary arrests under draconian anti-terror laws, and other human rights abuses.
This is not the first time a BJP leader has called for violence against Indian Muslims. During the height of the CAA protests in 2019, a common slogan for Hindu nationalist leaders was “shoot the traitors to the nation,” while referring to Muslims as “anti-national,” “Pakistani hooligans,” and “infiltrators.”
Gujarat Government Accuses Activist Of “Defaming the State”
The Gujarat government has made an outrageous accusation against renowned activist Teesta Setalvad, claiming she has been orchestrating a “conspiracy to defame the state” for her tireless work to bring justice to the victims of the 2002 pogroms. Setalvad’s NGO, Sabrang, has been hearing cases related to the incident for the past 20 years.
The accusation was made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta during the hearing of a petition filed by one of the victim’s families, in an attempt to discredit the activists who expose the role of Hindu extremists in one of Gujarat’s bloodiest tragedies under the watch of then Chief Minister and current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The petitioner, Zakia Jafri, lost her husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, to a Hindu extremist mob who entered a Muslim-majority housing area. The mob set fire to several houses, killing over 60 people, and hacked Jafri to death. Zakia Jafri’s counsel argued that the state and law enforcement were complicit in the violence, a statement that Mehta dismissed by saying, “There has to be a limit of exploiting the miseries of a widow.” He also claimed that the petition, if allowed, would lead to “great injustices.”
Reports show that it is the Muslim community that suffered the greatest injustice during the 2002 pogroms, during which Hindu extremist mobs violently massacred at least 790 Muslims women, children, and men. Eyewitnesses report that children were force fed petrol and then set on fire, pregnant women had their babies cut out of their wombs, families were electrocuted in their homes, and groups of women were stripped, violated with objects, and beaten to death.
Though the Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time was hardline Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, he was never held accountable by the Indian judiciary for actively encouraging the violence against innocent Muslims.
Hindu Extremists Threaten To Place Idol In Mathura Mosque
The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu extremist group, announced in a bigoted move that they would place an idol of Krishna in Shahi Idgah Masjid on December 6, the the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition. The group claimed that the masjid stands upon the “actual birthplace” of the Hindu deity, and announced that the idol would be installed after the masjid had been “purified” through a Hindu ritual.
This threat came days after another Hindu extremist group, the Narayani Sena, announced that they were planning a march demanding for the demolition of the mosque, inflaming communal tensions in the city.
Following the announcements, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya tweeted in support of the extremists: “Construction of grand temples in Ayodhya and Kashi are underway, preparations for Mathura is also on.”
Local law enforcement has stepped up security in light of these threats. “Strict action will be taken against those found indulging in rumour-mongering or trying to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of the town,” SSP D Gaurav Grover told reporters.The Babri Masjid was demolished by a Hindu extremist mob in 1992, who claimed that the Mughal-era mosque had been constructed on land holy to Hindus. The mob was made up of 150,000 people, led by right-wing Hindu nationalists belonging to the RSS, BJP, and the VHP, all of which have links to fascist ideologies.