"Damaging Property? Our Governments Shot Them Like Dogs": BJP Leader

Dilip Ghosh criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "for not opening fire and ordering lathi-charge" on those destroying railway property.

BJP's Dilip Ghosh called for identifying those "sabotaging the interests" of Hindu Bengalis.

New Delhi:

Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh controversially said on Sunday that those involved in damaging public property should be "shot" like they were, according to him, in BJP-ruled states.

Addressing a public meeting in West Bengal's Nadia district, Dilip Ghosh criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "for not opening fire and ordering lathi-charge" on those destroying railway property and public transport during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the state in December last year.

"Who do they think the public property that they are destroying belongs to? Their father? Public property belongs to the taxpayers... You will come here, eat our food, stay here and damage public property. Is it your zamindari? We will bash you with lathis, shoot you and put you in jail," Mr Ghosh said, according to news agency ANI.

"Didi's (Mamata Banerjee) police didn't take action against the people who destroyed public properties as they are her voters. Our governments in Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka have shot these people like dogs," said the BJP leader, adding that they did the "right thing".

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Mr Ghosh also called for identifying those "sabotaging the interests" of Hindu Bengalis as he claimed that there are two crore "Muslim infiltrators" in the country. "One crore alone is in West Bengal and Mamata Banerjee is trying to protect them," he claimed.

The BJP MP was attending an event in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which makes religion a criteria for citizenship for the first time.

Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao slammed the BJP leader over the "use of language".  "Mr ⁦@DilipGhoshBJP⁩, if that is the case why didn't Delhi Police not shoot like dogs the ABVP/BJP goons who were running amuck in #JNU. The language you use is the language of a bully, out to subjugate people with the might of the govt machinery," he tweeted. 

Protests have erupted across the country since December last year over the contentious Citizenship Act that makes it easier for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens. Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims and is against secular principles of the constitution.