GP Insights

GP Insights # 245, 4 February 2020

New Delhi: Shooting in an anti-CAA rally
Sukanya Bali

In the news 
On 30 January, a 17-year-old fired at a group of anti-CAA protestors while shouting "yeh lo aazadi" and "long live Delhi police", outside Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi. Before joining the protest, the gunman on his social media account had posted messages stating 'Game Over, Shaheen Bagh' and 'wrap me in saffron on my last journey'. 

Issues at large
The anti-CAA protests have been continuing in Delhi. With election schedule for New Delhi, where the BJP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are fighting for the State, the anti-CAA protests, and the responses against the same have become a political rallying point.

Last week, Anurag Thakur,  the Union Minister of State, encouraged supporters at an election rally in Rithala to chant slogans such as, 'shoot the traitors'. Several critiqued the incumbent minister, for inciting. Later, the Election Commission barred the minister from campaigning for three days. 

For the BJP, winning Delhi assembly is crucial now. The party though has a majority of 303 seats in the Parliament, faced setbacks in Jharkhand and Maharashtra state elections in 2019. With the upcoming elections on 08 February, the party is looking at defeating the AAP and also arrest its losing streak in the state elections. 
On one hand, the BJP ensured its Hindu majority vote bank by ending Triple Talaq, revoking Article 370 and introducing CAA. AAP leaders, on the other hand, announced policies in public health care, infrastructure and education sector, also by providing free electricity, water supply to weaker sections and free travel for women passengers in public transport.

In perspective
The shooting at the anti-CAA protest has led to further agitation, especially the students from universities nationwide. It also marks the continuation of violence by the supporters of the CAA against those who oppose. A few weeks earlier, there was violence inside the campus at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Second, the protest and the support for the CAA is being interpreted as being patriotic or otherwise. The support for and against the CAA has become a political issue now, and in Delhi, also an electoral one.

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