Soon after Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a Gujarat election rally made his controversial “taught a lesson to rioters in 2002” comment, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at him, saying his ‘lessons’ were in fact about letting criminals walk free.
While addressing a public gathering at Juhapura, the largest Muslim neighbourhood in Gujarat, the AIMIM chief said, “Amit Shah today gave a statement during a public rally that they taught a lesson to the rioters of Gujarat in 2002 and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) established permanent peace in the state. I want to tell the MP of this (Ahmedabad) constituency, Amit Shah, that the lesson you taught in 2002 was that Bilkis’ rapists will be freed by you. The lesson you taught was that you will free the murderers of Bilkis’ three-year-old daughter. You also taught us that Ahsan Jafri can be killed.”
In an impassioned speech, he also referred to the Gulbarg Society massacre, and the burning down of the Best Bakery in the 2002 communal frenzy that claimed over a thousand lives.
“How many of your lessons should we remember, Mr Amit Shah? But remember, teaching lessons is nothing, peace is strengthened when the wronged are given justice,” he said.
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) November 25, 2022
Taking aim at the Home Minister, Mr Owaisi said that people forget when they get power that it has never always been with anyone.
“Power will never be with any one person. One day, power will be snatched from everyone. Drunk on power, the Home Minister is today saying that we taught a lesson. What lesson did you teach? You became notorious in the entire country. What lesson did you teach that there were communal riots in Delhi?” he said.
Amit Shah had on Thursday said that those responsible for the communal riots in Gujarat were “taught such a lesson” that the state has been peaceful for 22 years.
“During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, Congress had strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society,” Mr Shah said in Mahudha town of Kheda district.
“There have been many riots in Bharuch, curfew, violence. There was no room for development in Gujarat because of the chaos. In 2002, they tried to indulge in communal violence… we taught them such a lesson, we put them in jail. It’s been 22 years, we have not put a curfew even once. BJP has done the work to bring the peace to a land that saw frequent communal riots,” he said.
The AIMIM will field 14 candidates in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.
The Gujarat assembly elections are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.
Voting for 89 assembly seats will take place in the first phase, while for the remaining 93 assembly seats, voting will be held in the second phase of polling.
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