Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha (Photo Credit: Twitter/ANI)
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday described the Delhi violence as a “pogrom” and demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court into it. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Owaisi said: "To call it a communal riot will be a joke. It was a pogrom. This is not a question of Hindu or Muslim. This is about whether you (Govt) will rise up to your Constitutional duty or not."
"I demand an inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge," he said. At least 53 people were killed and more than 200 sustained injuries in the violence that rocked the national capital in February.
In a scathing attack on the Centre in Lok Sabha over the recent Delhi riots, Owaisi said there is a "tsunami of Hindutva hate" and called for an impartial probe to find the perpetrators of the violence.
Some of his remarks evoked sharp response from the Treasury benches, with at least two Union ministers -- Ravi Shankar Prasad and Kishan Reddy -- registering their protest. Speaker Om Birla also expunged certain remarks made by Owaisi.
Participating in a discussion in Lok Sabha on the Delhi violence, he urged Hindus to "save the soul" of the country and claimed that around 1,100 Muslims are under illegal detention.
Calling for an impartial probe, Owaisi said that "Ankit's life cannot have a premium over the life of Faisan, just because the latter was a muslim". These individuals were among those who died in the violence that happened last month.
"We will die saving the Constitution... we will not allow the carnage to continue," Owaisi said, adding that committee headed by a Supreme Court or a High Court judge should carry out an inquiry into the violence. An all-party team should also visit the violence-affected areas, he said.
Thanking Sikhs for helping Muslims during the violence, Owaisi said they are the "small lamps in the tsunami of Hindutva hate".
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that during such a discussion, Owaisi has made comments that would increase tensions. Hitting back at Owaisi, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kishan Reddy claimed that thousands of Hindu settlements were removed by Owaisi's party in Hyderabad. AAP member Bhagwant Mann claimed that people were brought from outside to incite violence and that it was a "sponsored riots".
(With PTI inputs)