Home minister Amit Shah said a conspiracy could not be ruled out behind the Delhi communal riots in February that killed 52 people in the national capital and added that the investigations so far suggested the rioting was organised and that it could not have been done without advance planning.
Home Minister also said that not a single incident of rioting was reported in Delhi after 11 pm on February 25 and that it was contained within 36 hours by Delhi police.
“It was a big responsibility to contain rioting that had spread in an area with 20 lakh population,” Shah said, before adding, “Delhi police were able to end the riots in 36 hours time.”
Shah’s response was aimed at criticism at alleged laxity by Delhi Police in its handling of the riots.
“Questions have been asked about what the Delhi Police was doing. Police were on the ground then, police will also probe and submit a report in the coming days. I would like to praise the Delhi Police for not allowing the riots to spread to other areas,” Shah said.
The home minister said the scale and the rapid escalation of violence suggested a well-planned conspiracy, which was being probed.
“The spread of riots on such a big scale in such a short time is not possible without a conspiracy. We have registered a case of conspiracy to probe this angle,” Shah said.
Elaborating further, the home minister said several people from the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh had sneaked into the riot-hit areas in Delhi before the violence broke out and said there was likely to be a “deep conspiracy”, which was being probed.
He added that the police had arrested three people who were suspected of having funded the violence in Delhi. He added that there were 60 bank accounts that had been set up only for four days at the time of the riots and that the police will find out who these people were.
“Three people have been arrested for financing the violence in North East Delhi,” Shah added.
Shah said a scientific investigation as underway into the riots and all those who caused the violence will not be able to escape the law. He said over two thousand six hundred arrests or detention had been made and over 700 FIRs had been registered and 25 or more computers were being analysed along with several CCTV footage.
“Police is analysing CCTV footage using face identification software, it does not discriminate on the basis of religion or clothes,” Shah said.
He added that residents of Delhi had also sent several video clips to Delhi police and one such video could likely solve the mysterious murder case of IB staffer Ankit Sharma- whose heavily-stabbed body was recovered near a northeast Delhi drain near his house on February 26.
“A video sent by one of the Delhi residents is likely to reveal the secret behind Ankit Sharma’s murder” Shah added.
The home minister assured that no innocent people will be made to suffer.
“We are ensuring that no action is taken against any innocent person,” he said.
He also responded to the opposition criticism alleging he was not on top of law and order in the capital and said he had cancelled all his programmes when the rioting began in Delhi and was busy monitoring the situation with Delhi police.
“US Pres’s program was pre-scheduled, it was in my constituency, my visit there was also pre-scheduled. The next day, when the US Pres visited Delhi, I wasn’t present at any event. The whole time I was sitting with Police officials.,” shah said rejecting allegations that he was busy attending to US President Donald Trump when Delhi was burning.