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“After ‘teaching the rioters a lesson’ in 2002, there is permanent peace in Gujarat.”: Home Minister Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday that earlier anti-social elements used to indulge in violence in Gujarat and the Congress used to support them. But after ‘teaching the rioters a lesson’ in 2002, the criminals stopped such activities and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) brought ‘permanent peace’ to the state. In Gujarat, in February 2002, large-scale violence broke out in several parts of the state after a train caught fire at the Godhra railway station.

Shah held a rally in favor of BJP candidates at Mahudha in Kheda district ahead of next month’s assembly elections in the state. He alleged, “During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), there were frequent communal riots. Congress used to incite members of different communities and castes against each other. Congress strengthened its vote bank through such riots and did injustice to a large section of the society.”

Shah claimed that the 2002 riots in Gujarat happened because criminals had become habitual of indulging in violence due to the Congress’s support for a long time. The senior BJP leader said, “But after ‘teaching the rioters a lesson’ in 2002, such elements left that path (of violence). They stayed away from violence from 2002 to 2022.” He said that the BJP has brought lasting peace in Gujarat by taking strict action against those involved in communal violence.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Shah alleged that the Congress was against it because of its “vote bank”.