Womens’ groups, activists write to PM, express ‘horror’ over hate speech by BJP leaders

Nearly 175 activists and several women’s groups in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday, expressed “horror” regarding hate speech made by BJP leaders and accused them of using “fear of rape as a campaign message” during Delhi poll rallies.

In the letter, the groups alleged that the statements made by BJP leaders urge followers to inflict violence on women protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) which has created “an atmosphere of violence”, PTI reported.

The letter addressed to the Prime Minister, comes hours after two unidentified men opened fire outside Gate No. 5 of Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday night, the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) said.  A statement issued by the committee, a group comprising students and alumni of the university formed to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, said the attackers were on a red-coloured two-wheeler.

Among the signatories, some prominent names include economist Devaki Jain, activist Laila Tyabji, former Indian Ambassador Madhu Bhaduri, gender rights activist Kamla Bhasin, and groups like All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW).

The consecutive attacks in the national capital come after various BJP leaders have been alleged of engaging in ‘hate speech’ during poll rallies, especially, Minister Anurag Thakur who chanted “Desh ke gaddaron ko” to which people responded with “goli maaro saalon ko”. In a complaint to the Election Commission, the Aam Aadmi Party yesterday had demanded a “complete ban” on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning in Delhi and his arrest for delivering “hate speech”.