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Published On: Wed, Mar 11th, 2020

Won’t spare anyone involved in Delhi riots, says Amit Shah

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Amit-shah-696x392NEW DELHI : The opposition in Lok Sabha on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Union home minister Amit Shah for failing to contain the violence in Delhi for nearly three days during the debate on the recent communal riots in the national capital that have claimed 53 lives.
Home Minister Amit Shah, replying to a discussion in parliament on last month’s violence in Delhi, hit back at the Congress saying it had no right to point fingers at any party, given its track record.
“76 per cent people who have died in riots in India were killed during Congress rule.
it has no moral right to question us,” Amit Shah said in the Lok Sabha, where the Congress and other opposition parties demanded his resignation over the handling of the four-day violence in northeast Delhi.
Shah’s speech contained words of appreciation for police over “not allowing the riots to spiral,” seemingly attesting to the fact that the death of 53 and immense loss of property did not count as violence that had indeed spiralled.
He said everyone involved in the riots will be dealt with in such a way that it “will be a lesson for the country on what befalls those who indulge in rioting.”
He said that a total of 2,647 people have been detained or arrested and said that it is also being ensured that “no innocent is harassed”.
Over 50 people were killed in the rioting that began with a clash between groups for and against the citizenship law CAA.

Mr Shah tackled opposition criticism that the Delhi Police, which reports to the union home ministry, did not act in time to check the violence and prevent the scale of killings.
“People say the home minister didn’t appeal for peace. I did, but if had not done that… I didn’t say the earth shakes when a big tree falls,” Mr Shah said, referring to the infamous comment by Rajiv Gandhi on the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

“3,000 Sikh brothers, sisters were burnt alive, and you say earth shakes when a big tree falls?” the Home Minister said. The Congress staged a walkout in the middle of Mr Shah’s reply without coordinating with other opposition parties and making a forceful point of why it was walking out.
Earlier in the discussion, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi had said 871 riots took place under various Congress prime ministers — 243 under Jawaharlal Nehru, 337 under Indira Gandhi and 291 under Rajiv Gandhi.
Though the Congress had continued to raise the 2002 Gujarat riots, the state had not witnessed a single riot since then, she said. “The Delhi violence was brought under control within 36 hours, which, if you look at, was in the making for months,” the MP from Delhi said.

The Congress said it was the belated response of the government that caused the violence to spiral out of control. Calling the central government “nikammi sarkar” (incompetent government), Congress’s leader of the House, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, questioned: “If National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit can help in controlling the situation why couldn’t the Home Minister visit the riot-hit areas?”
“I would like to place on record that after 25th February, no incident of rioting took place. He also highlighted that he had allegedly not attended any of the state functions associated with US President Donald Trump’s visit at the time as he was overseeing the developments with police.
“We wanted discussion on Delhi violence after Holi to avoid communal flare up during festival time,” he also said. Opposition leaders had long since been demanding discussions on the riots but were told by Speaker Om Birla to wait until Holi ended.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who began the discussion, asked Shah to explain how “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”  He said the situation came under control soon after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited the violence-hit areas.

“Why could not the Home Minister go… NSA reports to the Prime Minister. Does this mean that the Prime Minister’s Office had lost faith in the home ministry?” Chowdhury said hitting out at Shah. Chowdhury alleged that Delhi high court judge S. Murlidhar was transferred out as he had questioned the failure of the Delhi Police in containing the violence.
He said the “midnight” notification was aimed at preventing adverse strictures against the government. Chowdhury sought resignation of Shah, a demand echoed by TMC’s Saugata Roy and N.K. Premchandran of RSP. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said there is a “tsunami of Hindutva hate” and called for an impartial probe to find the perpetrators of the violence.
BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi focused on the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma during the riots, and said “400 wounds were found on his body.”“What kind of hatred was this… we should discuss that also,” she said, adding the riots were pre-planned.

 

 

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