Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra, who has been blamed for triggering the riots in Delhi, has collected over Rs 71 lakh through crowdfunding to help “Hindu families who are the victims of Delhi riots”.
The violence in Delhi began on 23 February after Mishra led a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Maujpur area near Jaffrabad and gave an ultimatum to the Delhi Police to remove the anti-CAA protesters. He made the speech in the presence of Ved Prakash Surya, the DCP (Northeast) of Seelampur.
Since then, at least 46 people have died and over 200 have been injured in the riots that have engulfed the city.
On Sunday, Mishra tweeted an appeal to his followers to help victims of the riots, linking to a crowdfunding website called crowdkash.com. A look at his fundraising page shows that the BJP leader has managed to raise Rs 71,00,496 till now, crossing his goal of Rs 71 lakh. The goal of the campaign, as stated on the website, “is to identify families who are massively impacted due to the riots and help them with monetary assistance.”
Not all the affected families, though. It continues, “We believe that this would act as a short term relief for these underprivileged Hindu families who have been impacted by the riots.”
The highest amount that Mishra’s campaign has received is Rs 1,11,111, followed by Rs 1,01,000. The names of all the 3,969 “backers” have been published on the website, and include four people who have donated Rs 1 lakh or more.
Apart from these, close to 200 people have donated Rs 10,000 or more to the campaign. Since the campaign has crossed its goal, it’s no longer accepting donations.
The ‘about us’ page on crowdkash.com says that it is an “exclusive crowdfunding platform for the communities”. The category of its campaigns include “annadhanam—food for needy”, “armed forces”, “education”, “gaushala” and “vedic school”.
On its website, crowdkash says an admin reviews and approves campaigns once they have been started. HuffPost India has sent questions to crowdkash and will update this story once they respond.
Mishra’s campaign, the website states, is managed “by a group of Dharmics” under the leadership of the “ex-MLA” Mishra (who used to be in AAP earlier). A link to the same has been tweeted by BJP’s Tajinder Bagga, who, like Mishra, fought and lost the Delhi assembly elections on a BJP ticket, and former Infosys director Mohandas Pai.
Mishra, who was caught on video chanting “goli maaro saalon ko”, now a catchphrase for aggressive rightwing protesters, during a rally in support of the CAA in December, attended a ‘peace march’ on Saturday where the same slogan was reportedly raised again.
No action against Mishra
Apart from two BJP leaders — Manoj Tiwari and Gautam Gambhir — no other party leader has spoken against Mishra or the hate speech unleashed by the party ahead of the elections. The Economic Times reported that both these BJP MPs have been “virtually isolated” in the party.
The Delhi Police, as HuffPost India’s Sharanya Hrishikesh noted in an earlier piece, has been acting like it can’t see or hear Mishra’s hate speech and various provocations. Deputy commissioner of police (crime branch) Rajesh Deo told the Delhi High Court last week that he has not watched the controversial video of Mishra’s speech, prompting the bench to play it in court.
The violence in Delhi, which began as clashes between those opposing and in support of the new citizenship law, soon turned into communal riots. HuffPost India’s Betwa Sharma reported on how rioters had burnt and vandalised at least three mosques and one shrine, or mazaar, in Ashok Nagar, Gokalpuri and Chand Bagh.
On Sunday evening, panic spread in parts of Delhi over rumours of violence even after the Delhi Police rubbished them all.
Home Minister Amit Shah, who is responsible for law and order in Delhi, has responded to the violence by blaming opposition parties for instigating the riots and other BJP leaders have followed suit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for peace only three days after the violence began in Delhi—he has not acknowledged it in public since then.