Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday, March 12, claimed in the Rajya Sabha that protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act(CAA) that resulted from 'rumours' led to communal tensions in New Delhi.
"What was an anti-CAA protest Turned into communal protests at many places on February 24," he said.
Replying to a debate on the recent Delhi Riots in the RS, Shah said that there ever since CAA was passed, there has been a rise in the number of hate speeches in the country.
"The minorities, especially Muslims, were fed with fear that the CAA will revoke their citizenship," he said.
"I want to tell Muslims of India that don't believe in rumours. The CAA is not a law that will take anybody's citizenship away, but is a law which grants citizenship," he added.
He further blamed the Congress and other opposition leaders of giving hate speeches that provoked minorities to hit the streets.
"With regard to hate speeches which are being spoken about so much, I want to say that hate speeches began much earlier than the riots," he said.
The Home Minister said that Shaheen Bhag protests started a day after the Congress organised the Bharat Bachao Rally at the Ramlila Maidan. He further slammed AIMIM leader Waris Pathan for his controversial statement - "(We maybe) 15 crore, but are heavy on 100 (crore)" - and claimed that it was responsible for the riots.
Listing the incidents of communal violence which took place in India since 1947, Shah said that 76 per cent of people killed in riots died during Congress rule.
"Attempts to connect my party's ideology with riots have been going on since independence, but the facts say something else. Since independence, 76 per cent of people killed in riots died during Congress rule," he said.
"Only if all political parties had stood together and said that CAA does not take away anyone's citizenship, no communal tension would have spread in India," Shah added.
He further said that all those responsible for triggering the riots and those responsible for causing the violence will be punished irrespective of their caste, religious and political affiliations. For this, he said that the videos of the violence are being analysed in detail and driving licence and voter ID data are being used in facial identification software.
So far 1922 faces have been identified using the software. Of this, at least 336 people have been identified as residents of Uttar Pradesh. He, however, ascertained that no Supreme Court guideline on privacy was being breached by using the software.
Meanwhile, countering Shah's claims that anti-CAA protesters were behind the riots, Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "To say that those opposed to CAA were behind riots is not correct. Chief ministers of 11 states where anti-CAA resolutions were passed were not rioting. The law was passed because you had majority...there are petitions against it in the Supreme Court as well...all those people are not rioters."Also Read: "I Would Like To Praise The Delhi Police" Amit Shah Replies To Criticism In Lok Sabha On Communal Riots