Bharatiya Janata Party and other local Hindutva groups held an anti-Muslim Mahapanchayat, at Bharthal Chowk in New Delhi’s Dwarka against the construction of Haj House in Sector 22 of the area on Friday.
Videos from the Islamophobic event show the hundreds of Hindutva activists making anti-Muslim comments and calling for violence if the Haj House is built.
According to Indian Express, Mahapanchayat included people who claimed they were members of a residents’ federation representing at least 5,000 residents, BJP leaders, and Hindutva outfits such as the Hindu Shakti Sangathan and the Sampoorna Dehat.
Adesh Gupta, the chief of the Delhi unit of BJP was also present at the Mahapanchayat. He also tweeted photos from the gathering.
Videos showed protesters chanting “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram” during a rally. They also shouted slogans such as: “Ye bhumi hamaari hai, iska faisla hum karenge (This is our land and we will decide its fate),” Scroll reported.
In another video, a speaker addressing the crowd said: “Today they [Muslims] will build a Haj House, tomorrow they will construct a madarsa [an Islamic school], then a mazaar [shrine] will come up…150-200 of them will assemble…they will give birth to 70-80 [children], each of them will pelt stones and you [Hindus] will be forced to flee from here.”
In a video accessed by Maktoob, a Hindutva activist can be seen openly calling for the anti-Muslim attacks, suggesting that Hindus have had their share of “being defensive” and that it was time to attack.
“I have said repeatedly that Hindus should pick up shastra [arms] and shaastra [holy texts], while they still have time,” he adds.
Following the Mahapanchayat, leaders of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a residents’ body in the locality have also raised objections to the Haj House.
Members of the residents’ body have written to Lieutenant General Anil Baijal asking him to cancel the land allotment made for Haj House.
“There is a strong apprehension that brotherhood, harmony, and peace in the society, apart from law and order, will be disturbed if the said Haj House is allowed to be constructed in Dwarka and, furthermore, there will be every possibility of riots, migration of Hindus, and repetition of situation like Shaheen Bagh, Jafrabad and Kashmir,” read the letter which was widely called as ‘Islamophobic” by Muslim residents of the capital city and rights activists.
Haj Houses are facilities where people are accommodated before they go for the Muslim pilgrimage visit of Mecca.
The foundation stone for the proposed Haj House was laid in 2008 by the then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. The project was put on the back burner and it was in 2018 that the AAP government allocated Rs 94 crore for it.