Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday claimed no incident of rioting was reported from northeast Delhi after 11 pm on 25 February during the recent violence. During his address in the Lok Sabha, he also praised the Delhi Police for not letting the riots spread to other parts of the capital.
The BJP leader paid tribute to all those who lost their lives in the violence. According to Delhi Police, 53 people died and over 500 were injured in the riots in Northeast Delhi.
Responding to questions on why the debate was delayed till after Holi, he said that the government wanted to ensure Holi was celebrated peacefully. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had informed the House last week that the government is ready for a discussion on the riots after Holi.
Shah said that the first incident of violence in Delhi was reported on 24 February around 2 pm and the last one on 25 February around 11 pm. “I want to put on record that there has not been a single incident of communal violence in Delhi after 11 pm of 25th February 2020.”
He said that the government has asked for video footage from the people. “We have received thousands of videos. I hope the mystery of Ankit Sharma’s death is also solved through one of these videos.”
On Delhi Police
Defending the Delhi Police, Shah claimed that the police was successful in limiting and controlling the violence within 36 hours.
Ground reports showed that the police were either hopelessly outnumbered or unwilling to control rioters. A Reuters report said witnesses saw the outnumbered policemen do little to quell the violence and stood by as a mob vandalised a store.
The Union Minister also said that over 2,647 people had been detained or arrested in relation to the violence and CCTV footage is being analysed on over 25 computers.
On what he did to control the violence
Shah said that the event organised for US President Donald Trump was pre-planned and in his constituency. The Home Minister added that he came back to Delhi around 6.30 pm on 24 February and did not attend the next day’s events in the national capital.
“I didn’t attend events in Delhi during US President Trump’s visit as I was sitting with Delhi police to control the situation.”
Shah also said that he only requested NSA Aijt Doval to visit the riot-affected areas to raise the morale of the police. He did not go himself, he added, because the police would have run behind me to ensure my security.
The minister had made no public statement when the riots took place and his first comments on it came three days after February 25, when he claims the violence had ended.
(With PTI inputs)