23:21 GMT22 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The protest against a contentious citizenship law in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh region has become a metaphor for the general resistance against the Modi government-led government’s move to grant citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring Islamic countries.

    As election fever grips Delhi ahead of voting for the provincial legislative assembly, a parliamentarian from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made a provocative statement to tilt public support in favour of his party during elections. Parvesh Verma, a member of the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of India's Parliament, warned that protesters gathering at Shaheen Bagh might “enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters and kill them”.

    Verma, son of a former Chief of Delhi and a federal minister from the BJP Sabha has referred to mass migration of Kashmiri Hindus in 1990s at the hands of insurgents and said Delhi might face the same fate.

    “…Hundreds of thousands of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). The people of Delhi will have to think and take a decision. They'll enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them. There's time today, Modi ji and Amit Shah won't come to save you tomorrow..." Verma said in a video statement to news agency ANI, while criticising Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal.

    In an apparent statement to influence the people of Delhi, who are set to vote for the upcoming elections to the provincial legislature on 8 February, Verma, said it is time for people to decisively make a choice as later Prime Minister Narendra Modi or federal Home Minister Amit Shah would not come to their help.

    In another hateful rant directed towards the Muslim community, Verma had declared yesterday that he will demolish all the mosques of Delhi if he wins the assembly election and clear Shaheen Bagh of all the protesters within an hour.  

    This has come a day after a junior federal minister, Anurag Thakur, faced widespread condemnation for urging a crowd at an election rally in Delhi to “shoot down the traitors who betray the country”.

    The minister was campaigning for a nominee of BJP in Rithala, North West Delhi for the upcoming election when he raised the controversial rant. Delhi's Chief Election Officer has been made aware of the rant and sought a report on the matter. 

    Thousands of people, including men, women and children, have been protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) for more than a month now at Shaheen Bagh, in south-east Delhi. A tent has been pitched and hundreds of people spend days and nights there braving the chills and rain of Delhi. 

    The law, enacted on 13 December, allows Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from three neighbouring Islamic countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan – if they have been living in India for “not less than five years”. The bill has been targeted by opposition parties and civil rights activists for its conspicuous exclusion of Muslims and violation of the secularist ideals of the Constitution since it grants citizenship on the basis of religion.

    Prime Minister Modi, however, had clarified that no Indian Muslim has anything to worry about the law “as it seeks to grant citizenship, not snatch it”.


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