Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi claimed this week that no riots were reported during the 15 years that his party governed Delhi.
Gandhi is straying from the truth. The police registered more than 1,100 cases of rioting over 13 years for which data is available.
Overall, 1,109 riot cases have been reported in Delhi between 2001 and 2013, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, which reveal that 7,601 people have been arrested under sections143-145,147- 151,153,153A,153B,157, 158,160 of the Indian Penal Code (see box at the bottom for explanation of these laws).
Gandhi accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of inciting riots in poll-bound states during a rally at Seelampur, an economically depressed area of the National Capital Region.
Delhi goes to polls on the 7th of February, 2015. Results will be announced three days later on the 10th.
Gandhi said: “We were in power in Delhi for 15 years but not a single incident of riot (sic) took place. Wherever elections are due, BJP’s people incite riots. Riots were triggered in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra wherever elections took place.”
Referring to recent rioting in East Delhi’s Trilokpuri, Gandhi added: “No one from other parties, except Congress workers, helped affected people. You didn’t see (Arvind)Kejriwal or anybody else. There were people from Congress who helped the victims.”
Let us look at year-wise data on riots from 2001 to 2013 when the Congress was in power; the party’s Sheila Dixit was chief minister from 1998 to 2013.
While the maximum number of cases, 165, was reported in 2001, the cases declined from 2003. The year 2013 saw an escalation, with an increase of 43% to 113 cases.
The area which has seen the most riot incidents on average for the past five years is East Delhi.
A total of 72,126 cases of riots were reported in India in 2013, with Bihar reporting the maximum (11,931) cases. Kerala was second, reporting 10,042 riot cases followed by Maharashtra (9,610), Karnataka (7,237) and West Bengal (6,142).
Bihar topped the list (63,108) of persons arrested, followed by Maharashtra (58,471), Uttar Pradesh (47,979), Kerala (47,017) and Karnataka (30,719).
Image Credit: Indian National Congress website