The violence, that broke out on February 24 in Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Bhajan Pura, Yamuna Vihar and Mustafabad areas of northeast Delhi, has claimed at least 46 lives and left over 200 injured.
“If you look at the entire violence, for the past two months, Delhi had become a ‘barood ka dher’ (powder keg) and the BJP had a major role to play.
“BJP leaders made hate speeches and wanted to polarise people to make it a Hindu versus Muslim situation,” Atishi, the MLA from south Delhi’s Kalkaji seat, told PTI.
“When you create a volatile situation, you cannot control where a flare-up is going to take place. The BJP created a situation so that a riot becomes possible.
“The Centre should have acted quickly to control the violence,” she said and accused BJP leader Kapil Mishra of making “hate speeches”.
Atishi said negligence on part of the Delhi police, which comes under the Union home ministry, allowed the riots to continue for three days and maintained the Army could have been called to quell the violence.
“For 48 hours, the Delhi police could not control the riots. So why was the Army not called in? Whether the Delhi police allowed the violence to happen is difficult to say because, as you can see, a lot of policemen also got injured,” she said.
Queried on Arvind Kejriwal’s “silence” on the Union home ministry while the riots were raging, Atishi said, “When there is a situation of violence, Arvind Kejriwal is not just the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party but also chief minister of Delhi. So his responsibility is also that the situation stabilises.”
She said the AAP, which rules the national capital, was clear that it would not do anything to make the situation more volatile.
“Law and order in Delhi is the responsibility of (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah. The question we have is why was the Delhi police unable to control the riots?,” she said.
Atishi was in Goa to discuss organisational matters and deliberate on ways to strengthen the AAP in the BJP-ruled coastal state which will go to polls in two years from now.