‘Controlled Delhi violence in 36 hrs’: Meenakshi Lekhi defends govt in Lok Sabha
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Menakshi Lekhi on Wednesday defended party colleagues Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra who have been accused by the opposition of setting the stage for the violence that rocked northeast Delhi last month and left more than 50 people dead.
“Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma were blamed for Delhi violence. Anurag and Verma made comments on January 20 and January 28, while the violence started on February 23. Kapil Mishra was held responsible for acts of Amanatullah Khan, Sharjeel Imam and Tahir Hussain,” Lekhi said during a discussion on the violence in the Lok Sabha , according to ANI.
Without naming the Congress, she blamed the grand old party for the riots and said the government had controlled the violence in 36 hours.
Watch l Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Vs Meenakshi Lekhi over Delhi violence in Lok Sabha
“They talked of 1984 riots, I would like to tell them that they’ve forgotten that some accused are today in the position of CM. The violence was brought under control within 36 hrs which, if you look at in hindsight, was in the making for months,” she said.
The BJP claims that the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in southeast Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh that began last December had vitiated the atmosphere and eventually led to the violence in the capital’s northeast.
The BJP also blames Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam for fanning passions. It has also accused AAP councilor Tahir Hussain, who has been arrested in connection with the murder of an Intelligence Bureau staffer in the riots of orchestrating the violence.
The violence in northeast Delhi began as a skirmish between supporters of the CAA and protesters against the law in Jafrabad area and escalated quickly into full blown riots that initially caught the police unawares and raged for three days.
On February 23, BJP’s Kapil Mishra had asked the Delhi Police to vacate the Jafrabad and Chand Bagh roads and gave them an ultimatum of three days.
Mishra’s ultimatum to the police in a speech was widely shared and was blamed by the opposition as a signal to target Muslims.
Delhi had been on the edge in the run up to the assembly elections which the BJP lost badly. Union minister Anurag Thakur and Lok Sabha MP Parvesh Verma were accused of provocative speeches and banned by the Election Commission from campaigning.
The opposition had demanded a discussion in Parliament as soon as the Budget session resumed last week, but the government had its way, insisting that it be held after Holi.