Congress demands Amit Shah's resignation over Delhi violence
Congress President Sonia Gandhi addressing a press conference, flanked by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leaders A K Antony and P Chidambaram, in New Delhi on February 26, 2020.

Congress demands Amit Shah's resignation over Delhi violence

New Delhi, February 26, 2020

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) today reviewed the situation in northeast Delhi, where 20 people have died in three days of violence, and demanded that Union Home Minister Amit Shah should resign immediately in view of the Government's failure to prevent the tragedy.

"After reviewing the situation, the CWC is of the firm opinion that what has happened in Delhi is a colossal failure of duty for which the entire responsibility must be borne by the Central Government and particularly the Home Minister and calls upon the Home Minister to tender his resignation immediately," said a resolution by the CWC, which was read out by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at a press conference at the party's headquarters.

"The Chief Minister and the Delhi Government are equally responsible for not activating the administration to reach out to the people to maintain peace and harmony. It is the collective failure of the two governments that has resulted in a great tragedy in the capital city which threatens to become worse by the day," the resolution said.

Stating that it was gravely concerned over the unprecedented violence and loss of lives in Delhi, the Congress said the "tragic events" since last Sunday had a "history, design and pattern".

"It was evident even during the Delhi elections. Several leaders of the BJP made inflammatory statements clearly intended to create an atmosphere of fear and hate. The last of these statements was made on Sunday, when a BJP leader gave an ultimatum of three days to the Delhi police and warned that 'after three days don’t tell us anything'," it said.

"The deliberate inaction of the Central and State governments in the last 72 hours has resulted in 20 lives being lost so far, including a head constable, and hundreds are in hospital, many with gunshot injuries including a journalist. Violence continues unabated on the streets of North East Delhi.

"The CWC expresses its deep regret and offers its sincere condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives and earnestly wishes that the injured persons will recover swiftly and be restored to good health," the resolution said.

The CWC also demand answers to questions about where the Union Home Minister and the Delhi Chief Minister were and what they had been doing since Sunday, when the violence broke out.

The party also asked what were the reports given by the intelligence agencies in the days immediately after the conclusion of the Delhi elections and leading up to today.

"What was the strength of the police force deployed on the night of Sunday when there were clear indications that violence will break out?

"Why were additional security forces not called immediately when it was clear that the situation was beyond the control of the Delhi police?" the CWC asked.

The CWC said it believed that the situation was grave and required urgent action. It called for the deployment of adequate security forces immediately to bring the situation under control.

"Peace committees must be formed in every mohalla consisting of members of all communities to ensure that there are no untoward incidents. Senior civil servants must be deployed in each district to take charge of the administration to ensure that the administrative machinery responds to the evolving situation. The Chief Minister of Delhi must be visible in the affected areas and in constant communication with the people.

"The CWC appeals to the people of Delhi to reject the politics of hate and do their best in healing the rifts caused by these shameful events, to help rebuild all that has been lost and to ensure that such events do not take place ever again.

"The CWC calls upon all Congress workers and leaders to visit the affected areas, to extend all possible support to the families of those who have suffered as a consequence of the violence and to help build bridges between communities. This would be the most fitting tribute to Mother India," the resolution added.


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