Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday compared the communal violence that gripped New Delhi this week to the organised massacre of Jews in Nazi Germany during the 1930s, adding that "the world must accept this brutal reality of the Modi fascist, racist regime and stop it".
Taking to Twitter, the prime minister shared an interview of a University of Cambridge lecturer, Priya Gopal, in which she compared the Delhi riots to Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when on the orders of Adolf Hitler and his minister Joseph Goebbels, bands of stormtroopers all over Germany and Austria burned down more than 1,000 synagogues and smashed up some 7,500 Jewish-owned shops in 1938.
In a series of tweets, Imran said: "Images coming out of Muslim homes and businesses being burnt, Muslims being beaten and killed, mosques and graveyards being burnt and desecrated are similar to Jews fleeing the pogrom in Nazi Germany."
Protests against a contentious citizenship law had began on a smaller scale on Sunday but had escalated on Monday — as US President Donald Trump started his two-day trip to India — and Tuesday into running battles between Hindus and Muslims in New Delhi’s north-east, where rioters armed with stones, swords and even guns were out in force.
In his tweets on Saturday, the premier also said: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu Supremacist agenda is akin to the Nazi pogrom of Jews in the 1930s while the major powers appeased Hitler. Modi conducted pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat as chief minister and now we are seeing the same in New Delhi."
According to the Times Of India, the death toll from the communal violence in the Indian capital rose to 42 on Friday.
The violence began over a citizenship law that the Indian prime minister's Hindu nationalist government introduced in December, providing a path to Indian citizenship for six religious groups from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims.
Critics say the law is discriminatory and comes on top of other measures such as withdrawal of autonomy for occupied Kashmir that has deepened disquiet about the future of India’s 200 million Muslims.
Critics of the government however blamed this week’s violence on members of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was trounced in local Delhi elections at the beginning of the month. The BJP has denied the allegations.
Ultimately, the violence morphed into street battles between Hindu and Muslim groups with the police largely ineffective in controlling the situation.
This is not the first time Imran Khan has used strong words to condemn and criticise India's Hindu nationalist government for its discriminatory policies against the country's Muslim minority.
Two days ago, the premier tweeted a video of renowned musician Roger Waters speaking out against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act introduced by the Indian government.
“When musicians who have all their lives rallied for peace, start taking notice of the massacres in India, it is time the world must stand up and take notice. Stand up on the right side of history,” PM Imran had written.