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Delhi riot a genocide: Mamata Banerjee

Amit Shah had addressed a BJP rally in Calcutta on Sunday, but remained silent over the riots in northeast Delhi
Mamata Banerjee

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 02.03.20, 08:13 PM

Mamata Banerjee on Monday called the Delhi riots a “planned genocide” that was deliberately painted in a communal colour later and lambasted Union home minister Amit Shah for the loss of lives in the capital.

The Bengal chief minister told a mega Trinamul Congress event here that her “heart weeps” from the pain of witnessing the re-run of the “Gujarat model” in Delhi.


“They keep saying the CAA is not for taking but for giving citizenship. Is it for taking innocent lives? From the scores of deaths in each BJP-ruled states, of those protesting the CAA-NRC-NPR, to what happened in Delhi last week…. Amit Shah should remember these things,” Mamata said at the event at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

Shah had addressed a BJP rally in Calcutta on Sunday, but remained silent over the riots in northeast Delhi.

“My heart weeps, I am deeply pained by the murders of innocent people in Delhi… It was a planned genocide. A pre-planned genocide, a case of state-sponsored violence, later painted in communal colours deliberately,” Mamata said, before observing a minute’s silence along with the thousands of leaders in the audience to honour the Delhi violence victims.

She instructed her party to hold rallies in every block of the state on Wednesday to protest the Delhi riots.

“This is the Gujarat model… this is what they are trying to apply in Uttar Pradesh, now Delhi. They will try to make this model national,” she alleged.

The Trinamul Congress chief accused Shah and his government of misleading the people regarding the death toll.

“Over 40 people are already dead. Four more bodies were found yesterday (Sunday). Every time someone goes looking, in a drain or elsewhere, newer bodies are being found…. Are bodies being hidden? Remember, over 700 remain missing,” the chief minister said, before ordering the creation of a fund of Trinamul for standing by the victims of the Delhi violence.

“The Centre had every possible force at its disposal…. Then why this massacre — even as (US president Donald) Trump was here — the worst the capital has seen since 1984?” she asked. “What appals me is that not one apology was issued, not once was forgiveness sought.”

Mamata also demanded an “impartial” probe into the Delhi riots. “Proper, thorough, probe with Supreme Court judges and the like. It must be impartial, not with officials of police... the same police that stood as mute spectators.”

She mocked Shah for his vow to conquer Bengal when he cannot handle Delhi.

“Delhi, realistically speaking, is the size of a municipal body. He can’t handle that, he wants to take Bengal, the whole country…. He talked about 200 out of 294 (Assembly) seats in Bengal being his target. Why not all 294? Leaving those for the collaborators, the Congress and the CPM?” she asked.

She used the BJP’s example and repeatedly told her leaders and workers that it was a model of what not to become.

“Learn from Delhi, that is how we must not be… complacent like that, aggressive like that, audacious like that, disregarding people like that,” she said, before rolling out a list of activities for her party’s mega outreach initiative.

“Our struggle will end only when the monstrous autocracy of the BJP is thrown out from the helm of the nation…. Keep strengthening democracy and its pillars every single day — elections will come and go — the democratic elections will take care of themselves,” she added.

Reacting to Mamata’s attacks, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said: “Whatever happened in Delhi was a planned action by the Opposition. The riots coincided with Trump’s visit. It was an attempt to disrepute the nation.”

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