Amit Shah lauds police for ‘swift action’ during riots in Delhi2 min read . Updated: 11 Mar 2020, 11:47 PM IST
- Delhi Police, which falls under the Union home ministry, came under criticism for failing to curb the violence
- Members of Parliament from the Congress and Left parties on Wednesday staged a walkout after Union home minister Amit Shah commended the police force for taking 'swift action'
NEW DELHI : The central government on Wednesday lauded Delhi Police, saying it quickly contained the communal violence in which 53 people died and more than 500 were injured, more than two week after the violence rocked northeast Delhi.
The government’s seal of approval comes amid controversy over the role of Delhi Police during the riots, with claims that the force, which falls under the Union home ministry, failed to contain the violence and may have even participated in it.
Protests over the riots have disrupted proceedings in both Houses of Parliament over the last week with the opposition demanding an “immediate discussion" on it.
Members of Parliament from the Congress and Left parties on Wednesday staged a walkout after Union home minister Amit Shah commended the police force for taking “swift action."
Shah told the Lower House that there have been no reports of rioting since 11 pm on 25 February.
“Members raised questions on what Delhi Police was doing. When it comes to riots, when the police is dealing with the reality on the ground it is a very tough job. The population of northeast Delhi is 20 lakh and I would like to praise Delhi Police, because it was a huge responsibility and they did not let this riot spread and did a great job in keeping it restricted there," Shah said amid uproar from the opposition.
Shah staved off opposition attacks for attending US President Donald Trump’s programmes rather than visiting the riot-hit areas.
“It (Trump’s programme) was pre-planned and it was happening in my constituency (Gandhinagar). I came back at 6.30pm that very day and on the second day when Trump was here, I did not attend any event and sat with Delhi Police to ensure that the violence did not spread. I got in touch with the National Security Advisor to see how it can be stopped," he said.
“We have to understand the geography of northeast Delhi also and it is the densest area of India with small gullies (lanes) where even police bikes cannot enter. People of both communities are concentrated here. That area is also notorious for crime and it is next to the Uttar Pradesh border," said the home minister.
Shah said 1,647 people have been arrested so far. “CCTV footage analysis is going on. More than 40 teams have been made to arrest culprits and face recognition technology is being used to identify those responsible and they will not be spared," he said.
Earlier, the Opposition hit out at the government, accusing it of not acting against the violence or the BJP leaders who had come under the scanner for allegedly making hate speeches.
“We know 3,000 Sikhs were killed in Delhi in 1984. But don’t substantiate the carnage in Delhi now by simply referring to the Sikh riots. The truth is this government sat over the carnage," Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Choudhury said. “For the three days when Delhi was burning, what was the home minister and the government doing. The home minister should resign and FIRs should be filed against Anurag Thakur and other leaders for hate speeches," he said.