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60 social media accounts being probed in Delhi riots
Last Updated : 12 Mar 2020 06:44:35 AM IST
Union Home Minister Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah


Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that 60 social media accounts were created on February 22 and closed on February 26, which are being investigated for their role in the northeast Delhi violence which killed 52 people.

Replying to the debate on Delhi violence in the Lower House, the Home Minister disclosed important details on the progress of the investigation made by the Delhi Police. The Home Minister backed the Delhi Police in controlling the violence in 36 hours.

"There were about 60 accounts on social media that started on 22nd and were closed on 26th. Do they think they would get away by closing such accounts? The police will find them out," Shah said.

"We wanted to ensure that Holi was celebrated peacefully, and thus we wanted discussions on the law and order situation in Delhi to take place after the festival," Shah said.

Shah also said that face-recognition technology has been harnessed with CCTV footage of the riots to identify the perpetrators of violence. Around 300 persons from Uttar Pradesh have been identified from the footage, he added.

While the Opposition has been gunning for the Home Minister's resignation for his alleged failure to prevent the Delhi riots, Shah was aggressive during his reply and pointed out that the violence had been contained in 36 hours.

The opposition Congress has been demanding the resignation of Shah over the Delhi riots which have resulted in 52 deaths so far. Ever since the Budget Session of the Parliament resumed on March 2, the Congress had been disrupting the proceedings over their demand.

Shah emphasised that anybody who is responsible for the violence will not be spared, regardless of their religion. However, he added that no innocent person should fear arrest or detention.

The Home Minister also blamed the opposition for incitement on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which, he said, led to the Delhi riots.

He also suggested that Sonia Gandhi's inflammatory speech was the reason behind the Shaheen Bagh agitation.

"Ek badi party ki rally hui, 'Ghar ke bahar niklo', 'Yeh aar paar ki ladai hai' -- yeh hate speech nahi lagti aapko," asked Shah.

He was referring to Sonia Gandhi's speech at the Ramlila Ground on December 14, 2019. He added that her speech led to the Shaheen Bagh protest that was launched immediately after, on December 15, 2019.

The Home Minister stated that the riots were being probed from a conspiracy angle as they could not have been carried out on such a scale in a such a short time 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.

Shah also referred to the communal statements made by AIMIM leader Waris Pathan and other comments which were made in Delhi in the run up to the riots. He assured the families of every victim that "perpetrators wont be spared, regardless of their religion, come what may."

The Congress lashed out at the government during the debate with its leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, blaming the government for delaying its action in controlling the violence, saying that timely action could have prevented the violence.

Dubbing the Central government as "nikammi sarkar" (incompetent government), Chowdhury sought the resignation of Shah for not handling the issue with sincerity, saying if National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval's visit can help in controlling the situation, "why didn't Home Minister visit the riot-hit areas?"

"Delhi riots could have been stopped if timely action was taken," Chowdhury said while initiating the debate on the recent law and order situation in some parts of Delhi.

Noting that over "53 people were killed and properties worth Rs 25,000 crore were lost", Chowdhury said that it is not the lack of ability of Delhi Police, but the riots happened because the force has been following the direction of the Central government.

Giving the reference of NSA Ajit Doval, Chowdhury said "he showed the way to handle the situation," and asked "why he was sent to the field for law and order which is not in the jurisdiction of a National Security Advisor".

"A National Security Advisor directly reports to the Prime Minister's Office. Is it not a signal that the Ministry of Home Affairs was ignored and the matter was dealt directly by the PMO? Why he had to come," he asked.

Ankit Sharma's killer to be revealed soon

Investigative agencies have received a video of the killing of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma from the people of the locality and soon the name of his killer will be revealed, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Shah said that after the riots the government put up advertisements in newspapers asking people to share the videos and photos to identify the rioters. "We have received a number of videos from the public and all those videos are being analysed with the data of the northeast Delhi residents with the help of their voter cards and driving licences through a software," he said.

He also said that the agencies have also taken the data from Uttar Pradesh to identify the people who indulged in the riots in February in which 52 people lost their lives and over 263 were injured.

Commenting on the murder of Sharma, Shah said, "We have also received the video of the killing of the IB staffer and soon his killer will be arrested."

Sharma was stabbed over 400 times during the Delhi riots and his body was thrown in a sewer in northeast Delhi's Chandbagh area. His body was recovered a day later. The forensics team also collected samples from the site from where his body was recovered. The Delhi Police has booked suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and others for their role in the murder of Sharma on the complaint of his father.

Hussain surrendered in court after which the police arrested him. Shah further said that the software which has the details of the people doesn't recognise the people on the basis of their clothes or religion. "It works through facial recognition system," he added.

300 rioters identified through face recognition tech

Stating that face-recognition technology has been harnessed with CCTV footage of riots to identify the perpetrators, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday around 300 people from Uttar Pradesh had been identified.

Speaking on the Delhi riots in the Lok Sabha, Shah said nobody responsible for the violence would be spared, regardless of their religion. But no innocent person should fear arrest or detention, he added.

With the House taking up the much-awaited discussion on the Delhi riots on Wednesday, the Home Minister said 152 arms had been confiscated, 49 cases filed under the Arms Act, and 2,647 people arrested or detained in connection with the violence.

The opposition Congress has been demanding resignation of Shah over the Delhi riots, which claimed 52 lives.

Ever since the budget session of Parliament resumed on March 2, the Congress had been disrupting the proceedings demanding a debate on riots.

New Delhi
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