New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday hit out at the government in the Lok Sabha over its “delayed response” to the Delhi riots, claiming that the violence had not happened if timely action had been taken.
Dubbing the Central government a “nikammi sarkar (incompetent government)”, Congress leader in the house, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, sought resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for not handling the issue with sincerity and sought a judicial inquiry in.
If National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s visit helped in controlling the situation, why didn’t the Home Minister visit the riot-hit areas, he asked.
Initiating the debate on the recent law and order situation in some parts of Delhi, Chowdhury began by reciting Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’.
Then in a jibe at the government, he said: “Was the government not able to handle Delhi riots if it can conduct the Balakot airstrike (in response to the Pulwama attack)?”
Hitting out at the government over the situation in northeast Delhi, where tension began on February 23 evening and turned deadly on February 24 with violence continuing till February 25 leaving over 50 people dead, over 350 injured and thousands of crores of property damaged, he said: “Delhi riots could have been stopped if timely action was taken.”
He sought to know why violence broke out despite the ability of Delhi Police.
“The Delhi Police is called a modern police. They have all kinds of sophisticated weapons and measures. The Centre can also call paramilitary forces. Despite these things why did this happen? Where was the Home Minister?”
Citing the expression – Emperor “Nero fiddled while Rome burned”, the Congress leader said the government was busy in arrangements for US President Donald Trump’s visit.
“What was your responsibility during these three days of Delhi riots? Where was your MP (local MP and BJP state President Manoj Tiwari)? Did he go to sing Bhojpuri songs? What was the government doing when Delhi riots were happening?
“Can we not stop Delhi riots, if we can strike in Balakot?”
Chowdhury also took on the government over suddenly transferring Justice S. Muralidhar from the Delhi High Court to Punjab and Haryana High Court through a notification issued close to midnight on February 26 — the day a bench headed by him had pulled up Delhi Police for failing to register FIRs against three BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches which purportedly led to the recent violence in northeast Delhi.
Stressing “53 people were killed and Rs 25,000 crore property lost”, he said it was not the lack of ability of Delhi Police, but the riot happened because the force has been working in the direction of the Central government.
Noting how Doval “showed the way to handle the situation”, Chowdhury asked: “Why was he sent to the field for law and order which is not in the jurisdiction of a National Security Advisor”.
“A National Security Advisor directly report to the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office). Is it not a signal that the Ministry of Home Affairs was ignored and the matter was dealt directly from PMO. Why he had to come?”
Accusing both the Central and Delhi governments of being silent, Chowdhury cited how a woman had grabbed the collar of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as he visited the scene of a riot very late, as he asked whether it was not Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s responsibility to meet Delhi’s people?
The Congress leader also sought to know why Home Minister didn’t visit the spot.
“Why not you? You both (PM and Home Minister) openly gave a nod for Delhi riots. PM kept himself away from public indicating a coronavirus infection.”
Accusing both the the state and Central governments of incompetency in handling the riots, he demanded that the Centre should immediately conduct a loss estimate report.