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Owaisi criticizes Shah for his “rioters have learned their lesson” remark

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi has lashed out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his “BJP taught perpetrators of violence a lesson in 2002”, saying no one stays in power forever.

Owaisi also accused Shah of being intoxicated with power.

Speaking at an election rally in Gujarat on Friday, Shah had said anti-social elements no longer indulged in violence after being “learned a lesson” in 2002 and that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had brought about “permanent peace” in the state . Parts of Gujarat had witnessed widespread violence in 2002 following the train fire at Godhra railway station in February of that year.

Speaking at a rally in the Muslim-dominated Juhapura area of ​​Ahmedabad hours after Shah’s remarks on Friday night, Owaisi said the lessons learned by the BJP leader were that “rapists from Bilkis Bano will be released”.

“I would like to tell you that the lesson you learned in 2002 was that you acquit Bilkis Bano’s rapists; you have learned the lesson that you will acquit those who killed Bilkis Bano’s three-year-old baby in front of her,” the AIMIM chief said.

“Along with this lesson, you learned that Ehsan Jafri will be killed. You learned the lesson from Gulberg Society and Best Bakery,” he said, referring to the instances of post-Godhra riots where several Muslims, including Jafri, who was a member of parliament at the time, were killed.

All 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 post-Godhra Bilkis Bano gang rape case left Godhra Sub Jail on August 15 this year after the Gujarat government granted their release under its parole policy. In 2008, a special court in Mumbai had sentenced the 11 defendants to life imprisonment on charges of Bilkis Bano’s gang rape and murder of seven of her relatives during the communal riots caused by the setting fire of a Sabarmati Express bus by a nearby mob from Godhra. station on February 27, 2002.

Owaisi went on to say that one should not forget that power does not stay with someone forever.

“You talk about learning a lesson, but people in power forget that power never stays with anyone forever… it won’t stay with anyone forever, it will one day be snatched away. Drunk in power, the home minister is talking about learning a lesson,” the Hyderabad MP said.

“What lesson have you learned that has brought the whole country into disrepute? Amit Shah, what lesson did you learn that caused riots in Delhi?” he continued.

He said peace becomes stronger when justice is dispensed to those who have wronged.

“During Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. The Congress pushed people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. By such riots, Congress had strengthened its vote bank and wronged much of society,” Shah had said at his election rally in Mahuda, Kheda district.

“But after learning a lesson in 2002, these elements left that (violent) path. They refrained from violence from 2002 to 2022. BJP has brought about permanent peace in Gujarat by cracking down on those who indulged in communal violence,” the Union minister said.

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