AIMIM leader Owaisi outraged at Amit Shah's "taught a lesson to rioters in 2002" remarktext_fields
New Delhi: Asaduddin Owaisi, the leader of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), reacted angrily to Union Home Minister Amit Shah's infamous "taught a lesson to rioters in 2002" remark at a Gujarat election rally, alleging that his "lessons" were actually about letting criminals walk free.
The AIMIM chief spoke in front of a crowd in Juhapura, the largest Muslim neighbourhood in Gujarat and 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 a passionate address, he also brought up the Gulbarg Society slaughter and the Best Bakery fire in the 2002 communal outrage that left over a thousand people dead, NDTV reported.
"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.
Mr Owaisi, criticising the Home Minister, claimed that when people gain power, they forget that power 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 claimed on Thursday that Gujarat has been quiet for 22 years because those responsible for the religious violence there were "taught such a lesson."
"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.
14 candidates from the AIMIM will contest in the 2019 Gujarat Assembly elections.
The two rounds of the Gujarat assembly elections are set for December 1 and 5.
The first round of voting will be for 89 assembly members, while the second phase of voting will be for the remaining 93 assembly seats.