On the lines of a move by the Uttar Pradesh government, the Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja on Tuesday said that the Gujarat government is also planning to recover the cost of damages done to public and private property during riots from the protesters themselves.
Jadeja made a formal statement in this regard on the floor of the Assembly on Tuesday, while participating in a debate on the recent riots that rocked Khambhat from February 23 to 25. The notice for the debate was given by Congress MLAs Imran Khedawala, Gyasuddin Shaikh and Mohammed Javed Pirzada along with BJP MLA from Khambhat constituency, Maheshkumar Raval.
Speaking on the Khambhat riots and the damage it has caused to the properties of the people in the town, Khedawala raised the issue of recovery of damages from the rioters on the lines of Uttar Pradesh government. “The way UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath caught rioters and recovered damages from them, similarly in Gujarat also the damages should be recovered from the rioters,” Khedawala said.
Replying to this, Jadeja said, “In case of such riots in Gujarat, chief minister has already given instructions to the administration to assess (the possibility of) recovering the damages caused by rioters from themselves.”
Later, speaking with The Indian Express, Jadeja said, “The chief minister has asked the administration to check if within legal framework, this recovery can be made from rioters.”
As per Jadeja’s reply to the Assembly, incidents of communal riots were reported from different areas of Khambhat town like Akbarpura, Madarnagar, Bhoi Bari, Lal Darwaja, Pirajpura, Bhavsar Vaad, Prajapati Vaas, and Tran Darwaja. Total seven FIRs have been registered in connection with different incidents of rioting, arson, attack on police in which 49 people were injured, including eight policemen.
Jadeja said that total 115 people have been arrested by police, while sticks, knives, rods and other things gave been recovered. Police also fired 20 rounds of rubber bullets, 60 shells of tear gas and 12 hand grenades of tear gas.
Jadeja said that to prevent any demographic change in Khambhat, the state government has immediately imposed Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and Provisions for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act, popularly known as Disturbed Areas Act, in Khambhat.
During the discussion, Jadeja and Congress MLAs such as Gyasuddin Shaikh, Shailesh Parmar and Imran Khedawala had indulged in rounds of heated arguments. Jadeja said that the BJP is determined to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act and alleged that Congress and its leaders were instigating people in rioting in the name of protesting against CAA. He added that BJP will not be allowing anybody to violate the peaceful atmosphere of Gujarat at any cost.
War over language
During the discussion on Khambhat riots, Imran Khedawala spoke in Hindi with permission of the Speaker Rajendra Trivedi. However, as Khedawala began to give his speech, BJP MLA Jetha Bharwad reportedly said that the former should speak in Gujarati as he was not in Pakistan. Khedawala immediately told Bharvad that they always think of Pakistan and do not remember that “Hindi is a national language”.
Not knowing who made the comment from BJP side, Trivedi asked the person concerned to stand up. When Bharvad stood up, Trivedi told him not to make such comments in future. The Speaker then said, “Everybody here is Hindustani. Nobody is a Pakistani.”
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