Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah, put his statement on the floor of the Lok Sabha on the subject of the violence that rocked parts of north-east Delhi in February 2020. In his statement, Mr. Shah categorically stated the sequence of events that led up to the riots, and clearly pointed out the involvement of malevolent elements in perpetrating this violence.
Amid much heckling and rude behaviour on the part of the Congress led Opposition benches, Amit Shah reassured the House, Delhi’s residents and the people of India that no rioter will be spared from facing the rule of law, and an example will be made out of them.
Key Takeaways from Amit Shah’s Statement
- Amit Shah expressed condolences for all those who have lost their lives in the riot. I also express sympathy for those families who lost their members, and also wish to express empathy for those who got injured or lost limbs.
- Delayed discussion was undertaken only because Holi related riots are common in this country. Also, the police needs time to investigate in detail as well to make a proper statement in the house. To ensure communal amity in the country, to prevent any untoward incident arising from statements around Holi and speeches inside and outside the Parliament, we agreed to a delayed discussion.
- Delhi’s population is 1.7 crore, and the population of the riot affected area is 20 lakh. Delhi Police must be appreciated and applauded for having prevented this riot from spreading further in the city. Only 4% of the total area of Delhi and 13% of the city’s population was affected. On 24 February 2020, around 2 pm, the first information came through to the police of rioting, and within 36 hours, Delhi Police contained the violence.
- Amit Shah clearly stated that the Ahmedabad event took place in his constituency on a pre-decided schedule and while he was there no incident took place. Since then, he said he did not meet Trump in any of the Delhi events or meetings, and was seated with Delhi police and working out how to contain the violence.
- He personally requested the National Security Advisor Mr. Ajit Doval to go there, and Mr. Doval agreed to do that to boost the force morale. Mr. Shah did not go there because police would rather engage with him and would not focus on the situation on the ground completely.
- On 22nd and 23rd February 30 companies of the Delhi Police and CRPF were deployed, and we kept deploying more companies to that point that by the 26th, more than 80 companies were on the ground, including striking forces, who persist there, he said.
- 27th February onwards, over 700 FIRs have been registered, and more than 2,647 people arrested. CCTV footage is also being examined, and people have been requested to share footage of any riots from Delhi with the police.
- Face identification software is being used to identify the people. Software does not look at clothes and religion to identify criminals. More than 1,100 people identified with this software.
- Over 300 people came in from UP to riot, which clearly were identified with the software, which indicates a deeper conspiracy.
- On 24th Feb night, 10 pm, the UP border was sealed. 40 teams have been involved in arresting people day and night.
- 2 SITs formed with senior most officials heading it. Over 49 incidents of serious type are being investigated by them – Arms Act cases; 152 arms also recovered that were used in the riot.
- Peace Committee was constituted on the 25the February, which undertook over 650 such meetings to ensure peace and calm in the area.
- Further, a conspiracy case has also been registered by the authorities. Such flare up can happen only if it was a pre-design and screened the data with investigative agencies. As of now, 3 people who financed the riot have been arrested by the Delhi Police, and further investigation will reveal everything.
- ISIS related person has also been arrested for spreading fake news among people.
Context of The Riot
- Since this Parliament passed the CAA in December 2019, efforts to mislead youth and minorities across the country about CAA that minority citizenship will be taken away.
- Claims on no laws being based on religion are baseless, as there are over 25 laws in India, including the Muslim personal law that are exclusively based on religion.
- Shaheen Bagh sit-in followed a major rally done by one large opposition party on 14 December 2019 which called for aar paar ki ladai. Another big leader of the party repeated such statements.
- On 17 February 2020, an organization named United Against Hate had an event where speeches inciting people to come onto the streets to protest on 24th February when Trump reaches India were made.
- On 19 February 2020 Waris Pathan made provocative remarks. His retraction is baseless in the age of social media.
- Consequently, by the evening of 22nd February and 23rd morning, an environment of intimation had been created at 8 different places, with the emergence of protest sites.
- 60 social media accounts were started on 22 February, which closed on 26th February that incited hatred and spread rumours. Over 25 IT Act related cases have been registered against these people.
- Through ads and social media messaged we have asked people to not believe rumours.
- Home Minister has written a letter to the Delhi government asking for the set up of a Claims Commission. The Commission will seize property of rioters and will recover money from them, and Mr. Shah has asked the Delhi High Court to nominate one judge to head this Commission.
- 52 Indians died. Mr Shah categorically stated that he does not believe in Hindu Muslim as the opposition says. 526 indians injured, and 142 Indian houses got burnt.
- No one likes a riot, and riots should not happen under anyone’s rule. However, the Home Minister stated that in his prima facie understanding based on the evidences seen so far is that this was a well-planned controversy. He assured those who lost their family members that those responsible will not be spared.