Facial recognition software helped identify 1,100 Delhi rioters: Amit Shah
12 March 2020
Police and security agencies have so far identified 1,100 people who were actively engaged in violence and mayhem during the three days of organised rioting in the national capital, home minister Amit Shah told Parliament today.
Responding to a discussion on the recent law and order situation in some parts of Delhi in Lok Sabha, Shah said more than 700 FIRs have been registered so far and a total of 2,647 people have been detained or arrested.
He said that more than 25 computers are analysing CCTV footage to identify perpetrators and that the police have appealed to the public for any footage they may have, and many common people have come forward with the footage they shot on their phones.
He noted that on the basis of the scientific analysis, more than 1100 people have been identified, and 40 teams have been formed to arrest those rioters who have been identified.
He said several people crossed over from Uttar Pradesh specifically to incite riots, which shows that this was a well-planned conspiracy. He said that one of the first actions on the part of the police was the sealing of the UP-Delhi border at 10 PM on 24 of February.
Shah said the riots spread fast because of the high population density of the affected areas, which has a mixed population. He said, the narrow lanes prevented effective timely intervention by police vehicles and rescue by ambulances. He said that on the 23 and 24 February, 30 to 40 companies of Delhi Police and CAPFs were deployed in affected areas and that more than 80 paramilitary companies are deployed even today in the affected areas, with specialised strike forces created to quickly control the riots if such a situation arises again.
Shah said that two SITs have been formed under senior police officers to investigate the riots and a case of conspiracy has been registered. He said that the investigation has recovered 152 arms used in the riots and about 49 cases under arms act were registered.
He noted that agencies are investigating hawala transactions that took place after January and three people who financed the riots have been arrested by Delhi Police, and two people affiliated to ISIS have also been nabbed for stoking communal violence.
Besides, he said, more than 650 peace committee meetings have taken place till date, with representation from all communities being ensured.
Shah said the home ministry had communicated to the Delhi High Court regarding the establishment of a Claims Commission for relief and rehabilitation of victims and informed the House that recoveries would be made from those responsible for the destruction of properties.
He also noted that more than 60 social media accounts had been created specifically to incite communal violence between 22 and 26 February, and that 25 cases had been registered under the IT Act for the same.
Shah urged the House not to refer to the victims on the basis of their religion and emphasised that every victim was an Indian. He added that 52 people had been killed and 526 injured in the riots, while 371 shops and 142 houses had been destroyed.
Refuting the allegation that the police was siding with rioters, Shah said that on some occasions, the police had to resort to throwing stones in order to deter the rioters while maintaining restraint. He said that more than 5,000 tear gas shells and 400 bullets had been fired by the police to control the riots.
Referring to the background of the riots, Shah said that after a rally at Ramlila Ground on 14 December by the Opposition, Dharna at Shaheen Bagh started on 16 December. He said, a WhatsApp group United Against Hate was created on 17 February and inflammatory speech was given by some leaders on 19 February, all these led to protests by 8-9 groups in the area and culminated into riots.
Shah also noted that that vested interests have incited and misled minorities and indulged in fear mongering that the CAA would take away their citizenship, which is not true. He emphasised that not a single clause in CAA takes away anyone’s citizenship.
He lauded the role of Delhi Police and said that the force acted with great restraint and yet with great efficiency to control the riot in 36 hours, and ensured its primary objective of not letting the riots spread in the several mixed localities of Delhi.