Hindu nationalist BJP supporters pent-up anger behind deadly Delhi riots


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At least 24 people were killed and almost 200 injured in three days of clashes in Delhi, with the death toll expected to rise as hospitals continue to take in the wounded, authorities said Wednesday. One analyst told FRANCE 24 that the “pent-up anger” of BJP supporters was behind the violence after Prime Minister Narendra Modis Hindu nationalist party lost a state election there on February 8.


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This week's battles between Hindus and Muslims have seen mobs armed with swords, guns and acid raze parts of a northeastern district of the Indian capital. The clashes, which also left almost 200 injured, were triggered by protests against a citizenship law seen by many critics as anti-Muslim and part of Modi's Hindu nationalist agenda.

They exploded into brutal violence on Monday and Tuesday, with residents forced to flee their homes after seeing dwellings destroyed, a mosque attacked and a tyre market and two schools set ablaze.

“Since December, youve had relatively consistent demonstrations going on in Delhi and then in many other towns in India as well,” Subir Sinha, a senior lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, told FRANCE 24. “These were completely non-violent demonstrations, in which women had taken part in large numbers. This became far more volatile when the BJP, especially its senior leader Amit Shah – also the home [interior] minister – as well as leading BJP politicians in Delhi began to use the protests against the citizenship act as part of their campaign for the Delhi state elections.”

During the campaign, prominent BJP figures used highly charged language, Sinha noted: “Amit Shah made highly provocative speeches, where he said that each and every vote for the BJP will pass an eRead More – Source