Speaking to the media on Sunday, MoS Finance Anurag Thakur broke his silence on the Delhi riots which has claimed 42 lives and rendered more than 250 people injured.
Stressing that strict action should be taken against anyone involved in the riots, he asserted that the police was doing its job. Highlighting the strength of India, he said that people belonging to all castes and religions united for contributing to development. Subsequently, he ducked a question on the controversy over his 'Desh Ke Gaddaron Ko...’ remark at a rally were the crowd's reply had been '...Goli Maaro', which has been cited by many as being among those instances of hate-mongering that precipitated what Delhi witnessed in the last week.
Anurag Thakur remarked, “There should be strict action against anyone involved in the riots. The strength of our country is that people belonging to all castes, religions unite and contribute to the development of the country. Police is doing its work. And the police should continue its inquiry.”
#WATCH Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, when reporters say he raised 'desh ke ghaddaron ko...' slogan during Delhi elections: You are lying. You people should first enhance your knowledge. Half knowledge is dangerous.Matter is sub judice so I'm not commenting further pic.twitter.com/tWPxnRuIVp— ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2020
Thakur’s video came to light just a few days before the presentation of the Union Budget, where he is seen chanting and encouraging the crowd to repeat the provocative slogan of 'Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maron salon ko' (Gun down all the traitors of the country). On this occasion, Thakur was campaigning for Manish Chaudhari, the BJP candidate for the Rithala Assembly constituency. Incidentally, this slogan was first chanted by BJP leader Kapil Mishra. Despite the widespread condemnation, Thakur did not apologise for his remarks. After conducting an inquiry, the Election Commission of India imposed a three-day campaigning ban on him.
Former civil servant and activist Harsh Mander filed a petition urging the registration of FIRs against leaders such as Anurag Thakur who delivered provocative speeches, which allegedly led to the violence. On February 26, a Delhi High Court bench comprising Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Talwant Singh asked Special CP Praveen Ranjan to communicate the court’s anguish to the Police Commissioner regarding the non-registration of FIRs. The court gave a day to the Commissioner to take a conscious decision on whether an FIR should be filed.
When the matter was heard by the Chief Justice’s court on February 27, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta revealed that the police had decided to delay registering the FIRs as the situation was not conducive. Citing how the inflammatory speeches gave a sense of impunity to the attackers, Colin Gonsalves- the counsel for Mander demanded the immediate registration of FIRs as per the Lalita Kumari guidelines. However, the Centre was impleaded in the petition and granted 4 weeks to file a counter-affidavit after which the case was adjourned till April 13.