The Shiv Sena on Friday lashed out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the violence in Delhi, and asked why he was “nowhere to be seen” when the clashes broke out in the national Capital. At least 42 people have been killed so far in communal violence in parts of North East Delhi, that started on Sunday after supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act clashed with those who oppose it.
“Amit Shah took out a lot of time for campaigning for the recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections, distributing pamphlets door-to-door to canvass support for Bharatiya Janata Party candidates,” the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana. “But now it is surprising that he was not seen when 42 lives were lost and large-scale destruction was caused to public and private property.”
Shiv Sena, the former ally of the BJP, also questioned the serious lapses in security and the delay in the deployment of paramilitary forces to quell the violence. “When the home minister was in Ahmedabad [on February 24] welcoming United States President Donald Trump, an Intelligence Bureau official was murdered,” the editorial said, referring to the death of Ankit Sharma who was allegedly stoned and beaten to death on Tuesday. Sharma’s body was found in a drain in Chand Bagh locality.
“After three days Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for peace and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was on the streets of Delhi talking to people,” the editorial added. “What is the use now [of these measures] after the damage has been done?”
Shiv Sena said that had another party been in power, the BJP would’ve raised a brouhaha over the matter, and demanded the home minister’s resignation. “Now, this will not happen because the BJP is in power and the Opposition is weak,” it added.
The Shiv Sena also suggested that the Opposition question Shah’s absence at the scene, in Parliament next week. “If the Opposition raises the matter of Delhi riots in Parliament, will it be called anti-national?” the editorial asked.
Expressing concern over the mounting toll and injuries, the Shiv Sena said making inciting statements and indulging in hate speech has become the new norm – a form of “political capital”– for the Centre.