New Delhi: Expressing grief over loss of life and property in Delhi violence, in Rajya Sabha today, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah reassured the Nation that Modi Government is committed to bring the perpetrators to justice regardless of their religion, caste, creed or political affiliation. He emphasized that the due procedure of law would be followed and justice would be delivered to the victims. The Home Minister said that no culprit would be pardoned and the punishment would instil fear of law in the hearts of perpetrators of violence in the future. He said that the government’s priority is to prevent any kind of violence and ensure relief to the victims. All the loss of property during the riots would be recovered from those responsible for it, he added.
Talking about the progress of investigation, Shri Shah informed the House that 1922 perpetrators have been identified from video footage received from public till noon today, on the basis of facial recognition. Commenting on the alleged violation of right to privacy, he said that Delhi Police has not used Aadhar data for facial recognition of perpetrators, and while the Government respects the right to privacy, it cannot supersede the quest for bringing perpetrators of riots to justice. He further added that Delhi Police has abided by Supreme Court’s guidelines on right to privacy during the course of investigation. He informed that 3 SITs have been formed under the supervision of DIG and IG rank officers to handle 50 serious cases of violence.
Shri Shah said that while the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border had been sealed on the night of 24th February, completely shutting down borders was not possible. He further informed the House that most arms used in the riots were non-licensed and country made, and 49 cases of illegal arms have been registered for the same. He noted that 52 people have been arrested and the arms used in riots recovered on the basis of investigations. He added that more than 1100 people have been identified, and 40 teams have been formed to arrest those rioters who have been identified. He also informed that 5 people have been arrested for engaging in hawala transactions to finance the riots, which points towards the planned nature of the conspiracy.
Shri Shah emphasized the role played by certain social media accounts on fomenting hate and said that the Special Cell was investigating the issue. He informed the House that many social media accounts were created a day before the beginning of the riots and were shut down once the riots ended. He resolved to bring all those who instigated riots on social media to justice. The Home Minister further noted that the two people who had been receiving propaganda material from ISIS to incite riots have now been arrested. He also informed the House that the killers of both security officials – Head Constable Ratan Lal and Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma – have also been arrested.
Commenting on setting up of an impartial Claims Commission, Shri Shah said that Delhi Police has written to the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court to appoint an impartial judge and the Government has no role in the appointment. He added that the Modi Government is taking the investigation very seriously and wants to ensure the logical conclusion of the investigation based on scientific analysis. Shri Shah urged all political parties to refrain making baseless accusations. He said that while the lives lost and property damaged in the riots is a serious issue, the work done by Delhi Police to contain the riots to a small area (4% of Delhi’s geographical area) is commendable, and to acknowledge this is important for the morale of the force.
Shri Shah said that vested interests are misguiding and instilling a fear in Indian Muslims that CAA would take away their citizenship. The hate speeches delivered in the last two months were the main reason behind anti-CAA protests culminating into Delhi riots. Talking about the transfer of the High Court Judge hearing the Delhi riots case, Shri Shah said that the due procedure was followed based on the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium and the Judge was transferred after obtaining his consent for the same.
The Home Minister also reassured the people that no document will be demanded during NPR exercise and that nobody will be classified as doubtful on citizenship grounds, on the basis of NPR. He urged the opposition to stop misleading people on the issues of CAA and NPR and appealed to assist the police and administration in ensuring justice for the perpetrators and relief and rehabilitation for the victims. The Home Minister requested all political parties to rise above politics and allay all fears from the minds of common people in this regard.