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RS witnesses heated exchanges between AAP, BJP members over Delhi violence

By PTI
|

New Delhi, Mar 12: Rajya Sabha witnessed heated exchanges between AAP MP Sanjay Singh and members of the treasury benches on Thursday when the former demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah for the Delhi violence which claimed more than 50 lives.

File Photo

Participating in a short duration discussion on the Delhi violence, Aam Aadmi Party member Singh alleged that while Delhi kept burning for three days, the Union Home Minister did nothing.

"I want to ask what was the Home Minister doing. Such a Home Minister has no right to remain in his post," he said.

This was vociferously opposed by ruling party members. Singh said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sought imposition of curfew and deployment of the Army to deal with the riots, but the Centre did not act on the advice.

Refuting Singh's charges, BJP member Vijay Goel said demography of Chandni Chowk, from where he was elected twice to Lok Sabha, has changed in the last few years.

He said those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) don't know the suffering of Hindu refugees, whose strength has reduced from 23 per cent to 1.3 per cent in Pakistan.

Continuing the debate from the ruling party's side, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said it was important to know who instigated the riots and stressed he could provide recordings to prove who all were behind the flare-up.

"Was the bomb factory discovered at Tahir's (suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain) house not instigation. Children were made to say they will kill Modi-Shah, was this not instigation, Waris Pathan speaks the language of 15 crore and 100 crore...was this not instigation," Javadekar said.

The violence in northeast Delhi last month claimed 53 lives and left over 200 injured.

The riots were triggered by clashes between those protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act and those supporting it. Earlier, Congress leader Anand Sharma said the Delhi violence, which took place during the visit of US President Donald Trump, has tarnished the country's image.

He alleged an attempt was being made for sometime now to divide the country in the name of religion. Asserting that the mixture of religion and politics was dangerous and poisonous, the former Union minister said that what has happened is a "blot on India's democracy" and called for accountability to be fixed.

He alleged that timely action was not taken and there was laxity on the part of the Centre.

"You had a majority, CAA was passed and in our view it clashes with constitutional structure. It lacks constitutional and political morality and this issue is not over," Sharma said, adding that petitions have been filed by states in the Supreme Court. It is not appropriate to say that those who opposed it are behind the riots, the Congress leader said.

"I hope the Supreme Court of India, the judiciary, the Constitution bench is convened at the earliest (to hear the matter). This delay is hurting the country. This issue must be finalised. It should be settled in finality so that the country knows whether CAA is discriminatory or not," Sharma said.

He said it took four days for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to react and claimed that even then he did not criticise it but only spoke of brotherhood. Stressing that if the Delhi violence was a conspiracy, it must be unmasked, Sharma termed it an intelligence failure and sought a ban on any organisation stoking violence and possessing weapons.

Seeking to know the relief and rehabilitation measures being undertaken, Sharma called for an impartial probe and setting up of a judicial commission monitored by the Supreme Court to punish the guilty.

He said mere lodging FIRs is not sufficient, action should be taken against the rioters and it should also be ensured no innocent suffers. Sharma alleged that religious passion was flared up for political benefits and for a small election, in an apparent reference to Delhi Assembly elections.

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