Published On: Wed, Mar 11th, 2020

Home Minsietr Shah defends CAA, blames Sonia’s ‘hate speech’ for Delhi riots

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday blasted the opposition for allegedly misrepresenting the Citizenship Amendment Act, opposition to which was the primary reason for Delhi violence. He also suggested that Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi’s “hate speech” was the reason behind the Shaheen Bagh agitation.

He claimed that the Delhi Police contained the rioting within 36 hours

“Ek badi party ki rally hui, ‘Ghar ke bahar niklo’, ‘Yeh aar paar ki ladai hai’ kaha gaya, yeh hate speech nahi lagti aapko? (A big party at its rally said ‘Come out of your houses’, ‘This is a fight to the finish… doesn’t this seem like hate speech to you?” he said in his reply to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the violence in northeast Delhi.

Shah was referring to Gandhi’s speech at Ramlila Ground on December 14 and he alleged that her speech led to Shaheen Bagh protest that was launched immediately after, on December 15.

Urging lawmakers from desisting making communal connotations out of the Delhi riots, Shah refused to give death and injury figures according to religion. “For me, they all are Indians,” he said amid treasury bench members thumping their desks.

Recalling former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s infamous “If a big tree falls, the earth shakes” comment, Shah said his intention is to remind the Congress about its own track record.

Calling the Delhi riot a result of conspiracy, he said: “The spread of riots on such a big scale in such a short time is not possible without a conspiracy. We have registered a case of conspiracy to probe this angle. Three people have been arrested for financing the violence in northeast Delhi.”

Also citing “communal statements” made by AIMIM leader Waris Pathan and other comments that were made in Delhi in the run up to the Delhi riots, he assured families of every victim that “perpetrators wont be spared, regardless of their religion, come what may”.

“How can you say it takes away citizenship of people. Forget Muslims, it doesn’t take away citizenship of anyone,” said Shah, adding that it is a “lie” which is being spread that pro-CAA protests created riots. He also claimed that there have been more pro-CAA rallies than anti-CAA rallies.

Stating that face-recognition technology has been harnessed with CCTV footage of riots to identify the perpetrators, Shah said that around 300 people from Uttar Pradesh had been identified.

Shah said nobody responsible for the violence would be spared, regardless of their religion. But no innocent person should fear arrest or detention, he added.

With the House taking up the much-awaited discussion on the Delhi riots on Wednesday, the Home Minister said 152 arms had been confiscated, 49 cases filed under the Arms Act, and 2,647 people arrested or detained in connection with the violence.

He defended the Delhi Police whose role has come under sharp criticism for allegedly not doing enough.

“Questions have been asked about what the Delhi Police was doing. Police were on the ground then, police will also probe and submit a report in coming days. I would like to praise the Delhi Police for not allowing the riots to spread to other areas,” he said.

He claimed that the Delhi Police contained the rioting within 36 hours.

Noting that neither did he go to Taj Mahal along with US President Donald Trump or attend the dinner hosted in his honour by President Ram Nath Kovind, he said that instead, he was strategising with officials of the Delhi Police.

Shah also said that it was at his insistence that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval went to the riot-torn areas. On being asked why did he not visit himself, he said the priority was to control the situation.

Shah told the house that the narrow lanes in the riot-torn areas of northeast Delhi made it difficult for the Delhi Fire Service to reach the spot instantly. He also mentioned the presence of “anti-social elements” as a reason for the riots being prolonged.

However, before the Congress staged a walk out, Shah said: “I would like to place on record that after February 25, no incident of rioting took place. There have been attempts to politicise these riots.”

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