Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy, known for his shocking comments, on Monday dubbed Shaheen Bagh protesters a "nuisance" who have been inconveniencing the people of Delhi. "For the last 50 days they are carrying on some nautanki (drama). Despicable," he said at the Kolkata Book Fair, adding to the barrage of criticism and hate speech against the protesters.
Pointing to the protesters' blockade of an arterial road, the Governor, a former BJP leader, said, "You ask the people who live around there, they are going crazy. The young children can't go to school, sick people can't go to hospitals".
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tagged the protests as "anarchy" and sought Delhi's mandate to stop it. "If their game plan is not stopped, they will block another road or gully tomorrow. We can't let them spread anarchy. Your vote has the power to put a stop to this," he said at an election rally in Delhi.
The nearly two-month long women's protest at Shaheen Bagh -- which headlined across the world - has fuelled similar protests in many cities across the country. But the protesting women have been facing mounting criticism, hate speeches and even armed men.
Over the last week, key BJP leaders - a union minister and a chief minister - have spoken of using bullets to deal with "traitors" and "terrorists".
Union Minister Anurag Thakur was caught on camera at a rally in northwest Delhi, egging on a crowd to chant a slogan that calls for gunning down "traitors".
Accusing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of "supplying biryani to those protesting in Shaheen Bagh and elsewhere in the city," Yogi Adityanath said since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, "We have been identifying every terrorist and feeding them goli (bullets) instead of biryani".
BJP MP Parvesh Verma had said the protesters would "enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them".
Last week, a man was caught firing in the air at Shaheen Bagh, standing near the police barricades and shouting "Jai Shri Ram" . While being taken away by the police, he was heard saying, "Humare desh mein sirf Hinduon ki chalegi aur kisi ki nahi (in our country only Hindus will prevail)."