‘Not using Aadhaar to identify Delhi riots culprits’: Amit Shah
Amit Shah also dismissed concerns expressed over the privacy of the UIDAI data and asked if the question of privacy should be entertained when several people had lost lives and homes in the riots.
Home minister Amit Shah has clarified that Aadhaar cards were not being used by the police for identifying culprits in the Delhi riots and said only driving licenses and voter identity cards were being used to match identities.
Responding to the debate in Rajya Sabha on Thursday evening over the Delhi riots in February, Amit Shah said some news reports had wrongly claimed that Delhi police was using Aadhaar identity cards for riots probe.
“Only driving license and voter ID card is being used for face identification (of the culprits). Aadhaar data is not being used, as wrongly reported by some sections of media,” Shah said.
He also dismissed concerns expressed over the privacy of the UIDAI data and asked if the question of privacy should be entertained when several people had lost lives and homes in the riots.
“Some people lost life; some lost their limbs, someone’s home was burnt, what privacy are you talking about? Police should have the right to put the rioters to trial before a court so that they are given the strongest ever punishment. We have not violated anyone’s privacy,” he said.
The home minister had informed Rajya Sabha members a moment ago that close to 2000 faces or individuals responsible for the rioting and destruction of property between Feb 24 and Feb 27 in the northeast Delhi had been identified by Delhi police.
“1170 faces had been recognized till yesterday, 1922 faces and individuals have been identified until Thursday morning. These people have been seen rioting, throwing stones, damaging property,” said Shah.
Shah said there are forty teams deployed by the Delhi police to arrest the identified culprits.
Shah also lauded the Delhi police for its handling of riots in northeast Delhi and said the investigating teams had already arrested the suspected killers of two security personnel- Delhi police head constable Ratan Lal and IB staffer Ankit Sharma
“Those who wielded knives (against Sharma) were caught on video, their voice captured and they are behind bars, similarly, those who attacked Ratan Lal are also behind bars,” Shah said.
Head constable Ratan Lal had died of bullet injuries in the riots in Gokalpuri on February 24, the same day when Ankit Sharma was stabbed nearly 50 times before his body was dumped in a drain near his house in Chand Bagh area of northeast Delhi.
Home minister said the police was committed to prosecute all the culprits irrespective of their religious association or identities.
Shah responded to several allegations made by the opposition benches including that the Delhi police was not registering FIRs of all complainants.
Explaining that multiple FIRs couldn’t be registered on a single incident, the home minister said counter-claims on the same incident were attached to the existing FIRs.
“Over 700 FIRs had been registered till date, 2,647 people had been detained or arrested; two special investigative teams formed and the third was being formed to investigate riot cases and 192 weapons were recovered” Shah said.
Shah reiterated that the investigations were being done in a completely scientific manner and that not a single guilty individual will be spared.
Shah said he had suggested the presence of a conspiracy behind the riots on the basis of the investigations that led to the unearthing of the funding of the riots and the individuals associated with it. He said five people have been arrested so far for the alleged funding of the violence that started on the evening of February 23 but assumed the form of a full riot by the morning of February 24.
“There is prima facie evidence that the riots were a pre-planned conspiracy and the police are unearthing proof of this,” he said.
He added that a couple of people linked to the banned IS (Islamic State) had been arrested in connection with the riots.
“Two people linked with IS have also been nabbed, they used to receive IS material from abroad and they used to translate it and circulate on social media,” shah added.