Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Home Minister Amit Shah pats Delhi Police for preventing northeast Delhi riots from spreading, says Centre will not spare rioters

Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday commended the Delhi Police for its job in containing the violence in Northeast Delhi which claimed 52 lives over February 24 and 25.

In his speech in the Lok Sabha, Shah said the police ended the violence within 36 hours and said he had been reviewing with police on the attempts to curb the violence. As a result, he said, he had to skip the lunch and dinner hosted in honour of US President Donald Trump. The home minister said 526 people were injured, 332 shops gutted and 152 people lost their homes. He said he would not identify the victims by their faith. Over 2,600 people have been arrested or detained, he said.

Shah reiterated that no incident of rioting took place after February 25 and said opposition parties have been politicising the riots. The home minister was greeted with hoots from the opposition benches when he said MPs should have been more understanding of the police when they questioned its inaction. Earlier in the day, Speaker Om Birla revoked the suspension of 7 Congress MPs for unruly behaviour.

The Home Minister said he had deputed National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to visit riot-hit areas and boost police morale. He said he chose not go since the police would have to work overtime to secure him.

Some 1,100 people had been identified with face identification software after asking people to send in videos of violence. Of them, 300 came from Uttar Pradesh, he said. Shah claimed the software doesn’t differentiate on religious lines. The government will not spare any rioter, he said.

The violence began in Jafrabad when an ongoing protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act was attacked by people who said they wanted the road cleared. It then spread to other parts of Northeast Delhi shaking people’s faith in their neighbours.

On the CAA, he said the law will not snatch anybody’s citizenship and said there is no provision to do so.

The Congress staged a walkout during Shah’s speech, it had alleged that Delhi Police, which reports to the home ministry, had chosen not to act against the people who led the violence.

Earlier, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said the Delhi riots have been cooking for a long time and ascribed its trigger to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s speech at Ramlila Maidan.

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