Home Minister Amit Shah Replies To Discussion In Rajya Sabha On Delhi Violence (Photo Credit: File Image)
Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday replied on Delhi violence in the Rajya Sabha. During his speech, Amit Shah heaped praises on Delhi police for controlling the situation (Delhi riots) effectively. Assuring the nation through his speech in the upper house, Shah said that those who were involved in the riots, irrespective of their cast, religion, political affiliation, will not be spared. Home minister said the NDA government was not running away from a discussion on Delhi communal riots and had set the dates for the discussion in both the houses after the Holi festival keeping the need to maintain communal harmony.
During his speech, Shah explained that the multiple FIRs couldn’t be registered on a single incident, the home minister said counter-claims on the same incident were attached to the existing FIRs. "Over 700 FIRs had been registered till date" Shah said. Shah also reiterated that the investigations were being done in a completely scientific manner. "1170 faces had been recognized till yesterday, 1,922 faces and individuals have been identified until Thursday morning. These people have been seen rioting, throwing stones, damaging property," said Shah.
Shah said there are forty teams deployed by the Delhi police to arrest the identified culprits. According to figures provided by him in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, 52 people were killed, 526 were injured, 371 shops were burnt and 142 homes were destroyed in the riots.
Earlier today, opposition parties panned the government as well as the police over the Delhi violence last month that claimed over 50 lives, and warned that the spread of the "communal virus" would eventually pose to a threat to democracy. Taking part in a short-duration debate in Rajya Sabha on the recent law and order situation in some parts of Delhi, some Opposition members said the "communal virus" being unleashed by the BJP was "no less harmful" than the coronavirus.
If the "virus" is spread among the youth, democracy will be destroyed, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, initiating the discussion. The Opposition also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged when riots were raging in the nation capital he and Shah were busy “entertaining” the visiting US President Donald Trump.
They also questioned the Home Minister on “inaction” against leaders who gave public speeches to instigate riots in northeast Delhi. Condemning the “delay” in action to curb the riots and alleging intelligence “failure”, several Opposition members demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge.
The violence in northeast Delhi last month claimed 53 lives and left over 200 injured. The riots were triggered by clashes between those protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act and those supporting it. Accusing the ruling BJP of unleashing a “communal virus” in India that wreaked havoc, Congress leader Sibal asked Shah why registration of FIRs was delayed against perpetrators of hate speeches which he claimed amounted to “a licence to kill”.
He alleged that while the national capital was burning, Prime Minister Modi was silent on the matter for 70 hours and the police machinery was busy destroying evidences and supporting violence or rioters. Sibal, a former Union minister, said the riots were “orchestrated” just as the celebrations to welcome the US President. The riots in Delhi had taken place during Trump’s visit to India.
Mentioning the spread of coronavirus, he said “we know the roots of the virus” and “we know” who were the “collaborators” of the riots. “The Home Minister must have seen footages of policemen destroying CCTV cameras,” he said. He said of the 53 who lost their lives, 34 were of one community and questioned the delay in registration of FIRs against those who gave hate speeches.
“This was a license to kill...,” he alleged, adding that if the government wanted to control the situation it could have easily done so. He also warned against communalising the youth. If the “virus” is spread among the youth, democracy will be destroyed, he said.
“We understand there was a Balakot strike but why have surgical strikes on our own people,” Sibal said, referring to India’s action against terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot following the Pulwama terror attack. “Everyone knew what was happening, but the Delhi Police knew nothing,” he alleged.
TMC leader Derek O’Brien said, “Yesterday we heard from the Home Minister that all social media accounts that spread hate speeches will be brought to book. Mr Prime Minister, Mr Home Minister you start...lead by example, first stop following all those handles which are spreading bigotry and hate.” “Tell us today on the floor of the house, assure us,” he added.
He said if Delhi Police had done so well, as was being claimed, “why was the chain of command superseded and the NSA deployed...Or is the new role of NSA is to control riots”.
He was referring to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit to riots-hit areas. He termed CAA, NRC and NPR a “toxic combination”, and also questioned if facial recognition technology was being used to identify people in a crowd. He said, “Can you assure on floor of the Parliament. 50 people have died, who is responsible. the HM has to take responsibility. The PM has to be responsible.”
He said, “2002...2020...if you change the number then it is same...blood on the hand, same man, same trauma, same cover up, same model.” Taking part in the debate, Sudhanshu Trivedi of the BJP said it was wrong to blame the Delhi Police for everything saying.
“The situation of the Delhi Police has become like Iraq. They are being attacked for every wrong that is happening,” he said. He also said, “Everybody knows Gandhi’s political vision was Ramrajya, favourite bhajan was ‘Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram’, last words were ‘Hey Ram’... and the day in 2007, it was said that Ram never existed, Gandhi was killed on that very day.”
Tripathi took a dig at the Congress saying the riots during its reign were “secular”. AIADMK member S R Balasubramoniyan said, “The entire responsibility of the violence is on the Home Minister...it was called a conspiracy as US President was here.”
Javed Ali Khan of the Samajwadi Party asked the government to give heed to SAD leader and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal who commented that there is no democracy in the country except in Parliament and State assemblies, in view of recent incidents of violence in Delhi.
He said, “I am not giving clean chit to the Delhi Police.” He was of the view that rioters were being controlled by their handlers and acted as per their wishes. SAD member Naresh Gujral said it is a mystery as to who instigated these riots. He demanded that action be taken so that no such incident happens again. He further said irrespective of party lines the guilty must be punished and affected people should be given compensation immediately by the central and Delhi governments.
He also sought the government’s assurance to assuage the fears of NRC among people.
CPI(M) member Elamaram Kareem demanded a judicial probe into the incident. He said that the official investigating the matter was tainted and a Supreme Court judge should probe the matter. “Government, you have blood in your hand...so you have to take stringent action,” Kareem said. DMK leader Tiruchi Siva said, “...the lives of the people are so demeaned. There are apprehension about NRC.”
He further said Delhi Police should be accountable. “Police was a mute spectator. It is fear being created among people protesting against CAA...What has the government done...Home Minister should have given suo motu statement. neither Prime Minister nor Home Minister gave any statement (during the violence),” he said.
He demanded that there should be an independent enquiry by a retired SC judge. Banda Prakash of the TRS said, “We demand the government take whatever steps needed to arrest the guilty who propagated and instigated these riots. Please take necessary steps.”
He associated himself with Sibal on his view that this communalism was no less harmful than COVID-19.
BJD’s Prasanna Acharya said, “You (govt) said that it is pre-planned conspiracy. Why Government did not get to know about it...Then it is worst intelligence and Government failure.” He also questioned why hatemongers were not arrested and asked, “Who is responsible for that.”
(With Agency Inputs)
I am again repeating that no documents will be needed for National Population Register (NPR). All the information asked is optional. Nobody has to fear from the process of NPR. There will be no 'D' (doubtful) category: Amit Shah.
"Hate speeches started off after we brought CAA. The Citizenship Amendment Act is to provide citizenship not take it away": Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha.
"More than 40 special teams constituted to arrest those who have been identified: Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha
Several social media accounts have been shut down. Some accounts were opened before riots and stopped posting after riots. But we will find them even if they are deep down in hell. There is electronic footprint, where will they escape? : Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Delhi riots
All the details of those who have been identified are available with us. More than 40 special teams have been formed to apprehend such people: Amit Shah.
All culprits behind the killings of Head Constable Ratan Lal and IB Officer Ankit Sharma have been arrested while the investigations into the wider conspiracy is ongoing: Union Home Minister.
We had started our preliminary investigation right away, but the riots happened. 5 people have been arrested so far in relation to this and thus, there is a conspiracy behind the riots: Amit Shah
We had information from several agencies that money had come from abroad and from the rest of the country and was spread in Delhi before the 24th morning: Amit Shah.
Aadhaar data has not been used in Face Identification process, only Driving license and Voter ID database have been used. However, police must empowered to use scientific methods to bring the culprits to book and should not be stopped in the name of privacy breach: Amit Shah.
Over 1,900 faces have been recognized by Facial Recognition software inciting violence. These people were spreading arson and breaking infrastructure. They will be dealt with sternly: Home Minister
After the riots, 700 FIRs have been registered so far: Amit Shah
The perpetrators of the riots will not be spared regardless of their caste, religion or political affiliations. They will be prosecuted and punished through a transparent and scientific investigation so that they feel the fear of law for a long time: Amit Shah
I assure the House that the people responsible for the riots and the people conspiring for the riots, irrespective of caste, religion or party, will not be spared in any condition: Amit Shah