"Dadri mein ek suar maara jaata hai gaay kaatne waala Akhlaq, toh waha saare ke saare Rahul Gandhi se lekar Akhilesh aur Arvind Kejriwal aise rote hai jaise inka damaad mar gaya ho. (When a pig named Akhlaq who killed cows was murdered in Dadri, then everyone from Rahul Gandhi to Akhilesh and Arvind Kejriwal cried as if their own son-in-law had died.)"
Those were the words of Nandkishor Gurjar, BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Loni, during his hate speech at a public event titled ‘Virat Hindu Sabha’ held in Delhi’s Dilshad Garden on Sunday, 9 October.
Gurjar was live on his verified Facebook page when he made these comments. You can watch the specific quote about Akhlaq here at the 1:20 minute mark.
Gurjar also said, “We were accused of entering Delhi with 2500 people during the Delhi riots (of 2020). Police filed cases against us accusing us of killing jihadis. We will kill jihadis, we will always kill jihadis, we won’t kill those who say Bharat Mata ki jai and believe that Bhagwan Shri Ram is their ancestor.”
Verma, who is the Lok Sabha MP from West Delhi, urged the gathering, “Wherever you see them, I am telling you, if you have to fix their mentality, then you must completely boycott them. Are you in agreement on this? Raise your hands and say so if you are.”
The people in the crowd applaud, raise their hands and chant, “We are in agreement.”
Verma goes on, “Repeat with me, we will completely boycott them.” The crowd echoes Verma’s slogan.
Verma continues and the crowd repeats each line after him, “We will not buy anything from their shops. We will not give them any employment.”
Reacting to Verma’s call to allegedly boycott Muslims, RLD chief Jayant Singh demanded, “Strict legal action should be taken against the MP for such an illegal statement! When the important members of #TeamModi keep so much hatred in their heart, how will the country progress?”
Call for Violence
The BJP lawmakers weren’t the only ones making hate speeches either. There was Hindutva leader Yogeshwar Acharya, who made an open call for violence, “They don’t just have one, they have many. They want to have 14 marriages and give birth to 40 children. We must pay attention to such activities and must identify them and kill them one by one,” he added.
On Twitter, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) National Spokesperson Vinod Bansal shared a video report from the event by ABP News which referred to the event as having been organised by the VHP. Bansal wrote, “Today, there was a jan aakrosh sabha in Delhi.”
The hate speech event was held on the grounds of seeking justice regarding the murder of a man named Manish being stabbed to death in Delhi’s Sunder Nagari on 1 October. Though three Muslim men have been rounded up by the police in the case, the Delhi Police have so far said nothing that indicates a communal angle to the killing.
On the contrary, the Delhi Police has stated, “The matter is not communal. Peace has been maintained in the area. Some people are spreading misleading facts on social media regarding the matter. Action can be taken by Delhi Police against such people.”
In an article published on 9 October, India Today reported that the Delhi Police has stated that the victim, Manish, was being pressured to withdraw his case against two men who had snatched his phone a year ago and that when he refused, he was attacked. The killers, the police suspect, are friends of the mobile snatchers.
Speakers at the hate speech event on 9 October made repeated references to Manish’s murder, and used it as the pretext for calls of anti-Muslim violence and boycotts.
The Delhi Police’s Reaction So Far on the Hate Speech Event
As of now, the Delhi Police have said that they have received complaints about the event in the capital on Sunday. An FIR has been registered against the organisers under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant) for not taking permission from the police.
A senior police officer told The Indian Express, “We are analysing the footage. We have received complaints about the event at Ramlila Maidan, Dilshad Garden and are looking into the matter.”
Threat Made Against Arvind Kejriwal as Well Over Conversion Event
At the same hate speech event, AAP leader and Delhi’s Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam was also targeted and threatened over his participation in the Buddha Dhamma Deeksha Samaroh, an event in which hundreds of Dalits from across Delhi-NCR converted to Buddhism.
One of the Hindutva leaders addressing the event asserted, “I want to tell those who live in this country but abuse Hindu gods and goddesses… Kejriwal, you should be ashamed that one of your ministers makes statements like this. You should resign. If you don’t do so, we have the strength to break into your house and give a fitting response to your minister.”
Incidentally, hours later, Rajendra Pal Gautam announced on Twitter that he has resigned from his post as Cabinet Minister of Delhi.