A BJP lawmaker T Raja Singh has waded into the political row over Assam's citizens' list with a shocking demand to keep the country safe. The lawmaker for Goshamahal said Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims are a "danger to India" and they should be shot down if they don't leave the country voluntarily.
The "request" from the lawmaker, a serial offender with hate speeches, came on a day the BJP chief Amit Shah accused the Congress, which has criticised the centre for pushing the national register of citizens in Assam, to imply that it wanted to save illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
According to NDTV's hate speech tracker, this is the 12th such incidence of hate speech by Raja since December 2015.
"How is it right to keep foreigners in our country?.. There is no need to keep these pests in our country," Raja Singh told news agency ANI after posting a video message on his social media account.
"I request the central government to send them away, and if not, like they do in other countries where they shoot dangerous intruders, just like that, in India as well, whichever Rohingya or Bangladeshi does not leave India peacefully, we need to shoot them all," he said.
The National Register of Citizens in Assam is being updated for the first time in decades to identify Indian citizens. But with the onus of proving citizenship on the people, many, especially in rural areas, are apprehensive that they would be declared illegal since they do not have proper documentation.
There are 40 lakh people who have not been included as citizens in a draft list that is being finalised. The Supreme Court today ordered the government not to take any coercive action against people who have not been able to provide documentation to establish their citizenship.
Raja Singh presumed they are all foreigners.
During the 1971 war, he said, India supported Bangladesh, and it was then that a large number of Bangladeshis "infiltrated" into Assam, where 40 lakh such people were still staying illegally.
Lakhs of Bangladeshis nationals are estimated to have entered India over the decades in search of a livelihood.
Back in the nineties, the BJP and its alliance partners had made their presence a poll issue in cities such as Delhi. But rhetoric apart, there was little follow-up against the immigrants once the party came to power in Delhi.
In states bordering Bangladesh such as Assam, the promise to send illegal immigrants back strikes a chord with many voters given how the illegal migration has even changed the demographic profile of the state. In the run up to the 2014 election, Narendra Modi had said that "Bangladeshis" will be deported if he comes to power.