Uproar in assembly over northeast Delhi riots issue

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Delhi assembly witnessed heated exchanges between members of the Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP on Thursday, after ruling party MLA Amantullah Khan accused a political party of playing a role in the northeast Delhi riots last year.

Khan, who is the chairman of the Minority Welfare Committee of the Assembly, made the allegation while presenting its report on compensation for the victims of the communal riots that took place in February 2020.

Speaker of the House Ram Niwas Goel got the name of the political party named by Khan expunged from the records.

Khan was allowed by the Speaker to speak on the report for five minutes. However, his allegations led to an uproar in the House with BJP MLAs vociferously protesting it.

The Speaker tried to restore order and directed that BJP MLA Anil Bajpayi be marshalled out. The BJP member was also directed by Goel to remain absent from the House for the remaining part of the day.

Goel also asked Khan to discontinue presenting his comments on the report, and finally adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri urged the Speaker to expunge Khan's allegation and allow Bajpayi to attend the session for the day, after the House reassembled.

Goel allowed the BJP MLA to attend the session while advising him to maintain the decorum of the House.

Khan persisted with his attacks after he resumed speaking about the report leading to protest by BJP legislators again. The Speaker then asked him to limit his comments to the facts of the report.

Outside the House, Khan told reporters, 'I said the riots happened at the behest of the BJP. The rioters were one way or other protected by the BJP.' He also named BJP leader Kapil Mishra, Ragini Tiwari as well as other leaders and ministers in connection with the riots.

Reacting to Khan's allegations made outside the House, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said the police investigation report clearly shows 'AAP leaders like Khan and councilor Tahir Hussain were behind the riots.' 'Khan is accusing the BJP because the design of the 'Tukde Tukde' gang members to throw Delhi into communal violence has been exposed.

'The BJP leaders tried to save and help people during the riots and afterwards but its unfortunate that the AAP tried to gain political mileage through it,' alleged Gupta.

Earlier, submitting the Minority Welfare Committee report in the House, Khan said 54 people, including 11 Hindus and rest Muslims, were killed in northeast Delhi riots.

He said the committee had received several complaints regarding no or less compensation. The Delhi government has provided Rs 27.19 crore compensation so far, he said.

Khan said there were cases related to 47 commercial and 66 residential properties that were damaged during the riot in which no compensation were received by the owners.

The report recommended formation of a team to reassess cases of inadequate or no compensation. It has also recommended resuming process for filing applications so that only those who could not apply last year may get a chance to apply now.

The riots had erupted in northeast Delhi on February 24 last year after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled, leaving at least 53 people dead and also led to extensive destruction of property, including schools as well as religious places. PTI VIT VIT TDS TDS