Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday, 12 March, replied to the discussion on Delhi violence in Rajya Sabha, responding to the Opposition's claims of lack of investigation.
"The culprits, they may be of any religion, caste or party, they will not be spared. They will be brought before the law," he said.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal, meanwhile, said it is "clear that the police were helping those who were indulging in violence, resulting in the death of innocent people".
Earlier, on Wednesday, Home Minister Amit Shah in the Parliament said there have been attempts to politicise the violence.
“I pay my tribute to all those who lost their lives in riots in Delhi and extend my condolences to their grieving families,” he said.
‘Attempts to Politicise Riots’
“I would like to place on record that after 25 February no incident of rioting took place. There have been attempts to politicise these riots,” Shah added.
Shah added that he had skipped all ceremonial occasions with US President Trump and coordinated with Delhi Police to control the violence in northeast Delhi in real time.
“I was the one who asked NSA Doval to go and boost the morale of Delhi Police for their work during riot-control,” he said.
“Questions have been asked about what Delhi Police were doing. Police were on the ground then, police will also probe and submit a report in coming days. I would like to praise Delhi Police for not allowing the riots to spread to other areas,” Shah said, adding that Delhi Police succeeded in controlling violence within 36 hours.
Delhi Police managed to restrict the impact of the violence to four percent of the area and 13 percent of the population, he added.
‘Social Media Used to Incite Hate’
The Union home minister also said that from 27 February till present day, around 700 FIRs have been registered.
“We are ensuring that no action is taken against any innocent person. 49 cases of Arms Act have been registered and 153 arms have been recovered. Over 650 meeting of peace committee have taken place since 25 February,” he elaborated.
Shah also claimed that violence spreading on such a large scale in such a short time was not possible without a conspiracy.
“We have registered a case of conspiracy to probe this angle. Three people have been arrested for financing the violence in northeast Delhi,” he said.
The home minister also spoke about the possible role of social media in the violence, claiming that around 60 social media accounts were created on 22 February and were closed down on 26 February.
“Police will find those behind them. Social media was used to incite hate,” he said, adding that he could assure the House that the Delhi Police would hold a thorough investigation into this incident.
Facial Recognition Software to Identify Individuals
"We will spare no one irrespective of their religion, caste and political affiliation. Such action will be taken that it will be lesson for the country on what befalls those who indulge in rioting," he said.
Shah also assured the House that CCTV footage is being analysed using face identification software, and took a dig at the Opposition, saying that the software does not discriminate on the basis of religion or clothes.
He said details of voter identity cards and driving licences were fed into the software which helped identify 1,100 people.
Elaborating, the home minister added, “And I want to say that over 300 people from Uttar Pradesh came in to cause riots here. The facial data that we had ordered from UP makes it clear that this was deep conspiracy.”
Responding to the Opposition's criticism on not visiting riot-affected areas, Shah said he didn't want to divert the attention of Delhi police at such a sensitive time.
"I did not go to the ground because I did not want the police to get distracted and divert their resources for my security," he said.
Remarks About Hate Speech
Without mentioning Congress, Shah said an Opposition leader at a party rally on 24 February gave the call for "aar paar ki ladai" and asked wasn't it a hate speech.
He was apparently referring to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
He also attacked AIMIM Asaduddin Owaisi for his party leader Waris Pathan’s controversial remarks at a rally against the CAA.
In an apparent reference to a speech by Umar Khalid, Shah said that on 17 February, a member of United Against Hate had exhorted people to come out in large numbers when US President Trump arrived in India and show him what the India government is doing. Shah questioned whether this was also not hate speech.