Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that the culprits of Delhi violence will not be spared irrespective of any religion, caste or party, adding that over 2,600 people have been arrested so far for rioting and vandalism.
"The culprits — whichever religion, caste or party they belong to — will not be spared. They will be brought to book," said Shah while replying to the debate on Delhi violence in the Rajya Sabha.
Shah said that over 700 FIRs have been registered in Delhi against rioteers based on 'scientific evidence', adding that the Delhi Police had reached out to people and media houses for video evidence and action was being taken against rioteers based on that. He said that those behind killing of two Delhi policemen have also been arrested and the police is conducting further investigation to determine whether the killings were a part of a conspiracy.
Shah also alleged that foreign funding was used to finance and orchestrate the Delhi riots. Taunting the Opposition, Shah said that it was absurd to suggest that the riots were state sponsored because their timing coincided with the visit of US President Donald Trump.
"We had information from several agencies that money came from abroad and from the rest of the country and was distributed in Delhi before the morning of 24 February...There were bank accounts that were opened on 23 February and shut within a few days. We have arrested five persons for the crime," Shah said.
He also said that the government was not running away from a debate on this issue but wanted a peaceful Holi.
Giving details, Shah said a detailed scrutiny of videos of the riots is being done and driving licence, voter ID data are being used in facial identification software. He said that no Supreme Court guideline on privacy has been violated and no Aadhaar data has been used. He added that 1922 faces have been identified using facial identification software. He informed that 50 serious cases of murder, attacks on religious places, hospitals, and educational institutions being handed over to three SITs.
He also claimed that the allegations of Delhi Police's inaction were baseless. The home minister said that no suggestion of calling military were made in all-party meeting on 25 February and the Delhi Police managed to curtail riots in less than 36 hours.
Mounting an attack on the Opposition at the end of a bitter debate, Shah also read out a list of riots since Independence that occurred under Congress rule. He claimed that 76 percent of riot-related deaths occurred under the Opposition party's rule, which has launched a propaganda to link Shah and the BJP to riots.
"Instigating riots not our nature; our nature is to stem them," Shah asserted in Rajya Sabha.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal came down heavily on the Central government over the recent incidents of violence in North-East Delhi.
The Congress leader stated that the government will do anything for the protection of cows, but not human beings. At least 53 persons died including IB officer Ankit Sharma and Constable Rattan Lal in the violence that took place in North-East Delhi last month.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Mar 12, 2020 20:11:15 IST