All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief lashed out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the latter’s controversial comment that rioters in Gujarat were taught a lesson by the BJP in 2002.
Owaisi said that 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.”
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) November 25, 2022
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.
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.
Shah’s ‘lesson’ comment
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,” Shah said in Mahudha town of Kheda district.
Shah claimed that Gujarat witnessed riots in 2002 because perpetrators became habitual of indulging in violence due to the prolonged support they received from the Congress.
“But after they were taught a lesson in 2002, these elements left that path (of violence). They refrained from indulging in violence from 2002 till 2022. BJP has established permanent peace in Gujarat by taking strict action against those who used to indulge in communal violence,” the Union minister said.
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.