Delhi violence | Amit Shah lauds police for controlling riots

A well-planned conspiracy, says the Home Minister

March 11, 2020 10:29 pm | Updated March 12, 2020 12:22 am IST - NEW DELHI

Amit Shah. File

Amit Shah. File

Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday lauded the Delhi Police for “controlling the Delhi riots within 36 hours” and informed the Lok Sabha that the Centre plans to attach the properties of all those who indulged in arson and rioting.

Calling it a well-planned conspiracy, Mr. Shah in his reply to the debate on Delhi riots in the Lok Sabha said the government would take such strict actions against the rioters in Delhi “that they would serve as a lesson for future.” None will be spared, irrespective of religion, caste or party affiliation, he said.

Also read | Read them the riot act: On police inaction during Delhi violence

Amidst a walkout by the Congress members, the Home Minister targeted the party, pointing out that anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests started in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh a day after a ‘provocative speech’ by the Congress president at Ram Lila Maidan. He, however, didn’t take Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s name.

Recalling former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s statement, “when a big tree falls the earth beneath shakes,” the Home Minister attacked the Congress over the anti-Sikh riots and claimed that 76 per cent of the riot-related deaths had taken place under the Congress watch. “They have no moral right to talk about riots,” he told the Lok Sabha, even though the Congress members had left the House.

On BJP’s Kapil Mishra’s speech , he merely said the matter was under examination of the police.

Also read | Snuffed out by hatred: Here are 21 of the lives lost in the Delhi riots

Giving details of the action taken by the police, the Home Minister said that 700 First Information Reports (FIRs) had so far been registered , 2,647 people arrested and 1,100 people identified as those involved in riots with the help of a special face recognition software. “Face recognition software does not look at their religion or their clothes,” the Home Minister said.

Furthering the conspiracy theory, the Home Minister said 300 people had come in from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh during the riots and 62 social media accounts were active during that period. He informed the House that three persons had been arrested for allegedly funding the riots.

He said two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) had been formed to handle offences of a serious nature.

Dwelling on the reasons why the riots spread so fast, Mr. Shah said north-east Delhi, spread over 61 square kilometres, had the highest population density, with 20 lakh people living in mixed localities with very narrow lanes that made it difficult for the police and fire brigade vehicles to move in quickly. The area had a history of riots and was known for its criminal elements.

He claimed that the police received the first call on rioting on February 24 at 2.00 pm and the last call came at 11pm on February 25.

Mr. Shah said that the government had written to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to nominate a judge who could head a Claims Commission that would work on attaching the properties of all those who indulged in riots and damaged property.

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