Delhi riots: Govt says situation is under control & slams USCIRF for factually incorrect comment to politicize the unfortunate issue

INDIA has condemned the comments by a US commission on religious freedom and by “few individuals” on violence in north-east Delhi as “factually inaccurate, misleading” and an attempt to politicise the issue. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday, February 27 reacted after the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed “grave concern” over the violence in Delhi and asked the Indian government to provide protection to people irrespective of their faith. US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and some other American lawmakers have also expressed concern over the clashes. “We have seen comments made by USCIRF, sections of the media and a few individuals regarding recent incidents of violence in Delhi. These are factually inaccurate and misleading, and appear to be aimed at politicising the issue,” Kumar said. Asserting that a US federal commission’s critical comments on the Citizenship Amendment Bill are not accurate, India on Tuesday said the American body on international religious freedom has chosen to be guided only by its biases on a matter on which it has no locus standi. In a statement issued on Monday, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) alleged that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excluding Muslims on the basis of religion, it said. Neither the Citizenship Act nor NRC process seeks to strip the citizenship of any Indian, Raveesh Kumar added. Meanwhile, North-east Delhi is fast returning to normalcy following mindless violence including incidents of shootings and arson sparked off due to clashes between the supporters of the CAA and those opposing the amended citizenship act seeking to grant citizenship to people belonging to six minority communities compelled to leave their homelands in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and living in India as refugees as of 2014. Despite repeated statements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and government’s Spokespersons that the CAA is not for depriving citizenship of Indians, the Muslim community remains apprehensive and with support of secular parties are agitating in various places . The communal violence in NE Delhi close to Uttar Pradesh border has claimed 34 lives including a police officer. Several shops were set afire rendering many people unemployed. The body of an IB staffer was found in a drain. His family claimed the involvement of a local corporator belonging to AAP in his heinous murder. Police conducted flag marches and security personnel spread across the north-eastern part of the national capital to quell the violence since Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed for peace and brotherhood.PM Modi said on Twitter, “Had an extensive review on the situation prevailing in various parts of Delhi. Police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy. “National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited some riot-hit areas. “What has happened has happened. Inshallah, there will be complete peace here,” he said as he walked through the mostly mixed neighborhoods and congested lanes of northeast Delhi and met locals. On Tuesday, he undertook a late-night tour with Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and newly-appointed Special Commissioner S N Shrivastava.  The Delhi Police said it has arrested 106 people for their alleged involvement in the violence and has registered 48 FIRs.“No untoward incident was reported on Wednesday and PCR calls from northeast Delhi have reduced,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mandeep Singh Randhawa told reporters. In the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Kejriwal said the common man of Delhi did not indulge in violence and alleged that outsiders, some politicians and anti-social elements were behind it. He also announced Rs 1 crore compensation for the family of Rattan Lal, the Delhi Police Head Constable who lost his life in the violence. Kejriwal, along with his deputy Manish Sisodia, later visited the violence-hit areas. Meanwhile, the areas found to be littered with the debris of a riot — mangled and charred vehicles, bricks, stones and jagged glass. Republic, Times Now and some other news channels claim petrol bombs, stones etc were found on the roof of the AAP leader’s house. Acid was also used during the violence. He has, however, has denied the accusation. (Edited  by PK Chakravarty)

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