Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday claimed that “anti-India elements” want to spread instability in the country and that the national Capital was their primary target, reported ANI.

“There are many anti-India elements that want to spread instability...Delhi remains their focal point, Reddy said, while addressing the 74th Raising Day celebration of the Delhi Police as its chief guest. “The riots and illegal protests that took place in February 2020 were a part of this scheme.”

The minister was referring to the violence in North East Delhi after clashes broke out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and February 26, 2020, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst in Delhi since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

Reddy also appreciated the role of the Delhi Police on Republic Day, when the city witnessed violence after a section of the protestors agitating against the new agriculture laws entered the national Capital during a tractor rally.

On January 26, we witnessed how anti-India powers used farmers’ protest to disrupt the law and order situation in Delhi,” Reddy claimed, according to The Indian Express. “Despite their anti-national activities and provocative behaviour, the Delhi Police exercised restraint and tackled the situation responsibly.”

Speaking at the same event, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava claimed that his force did not discriminate on the basis of religion during the violence in February last year. Hundreds of arrests were made following the riots, including of student leaders, with many being charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The police have also maintained that “no actionable evidence” had been found yet to link BJP leaders to the violence.

“We conducted an impartial investigation in North East Delhi violence using technology and evidence,” the Delhi Police chief said, according to ANI. “One constable lost his life while many personnel got injured. We did not discriminate on the basis of religion and registered 755 cases.”

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