Bengaluru: Delhi burnt as 22 people lost their lives and more than a hundred people have been injured. NSA Ajit Doval has been tasked to restore peace. While he goes on with his mission, BJP RS member Rajeev Chandrasekhar spoke on the issue and the ways to deal with such issues. 

Question: What's your first reaction to the situation demands attention?

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: Now, I think what is happening in Delhi is sad, it is not something that anyone can be happy with. But what will be the motivation behind it? As you know, Delhi is a city that has already in 1984 suffered significant communal rights. And we are now in 2020 and Delhi should not be a city where such communal riots are happening. But the factors as we saw in Mangaluru in on 9 December 2019, and as we are seeing in the country, these riots are clearly motivated riots. And there are forces that are at work today that are determined to destabilize India and to create community disharmony and therefore, it is very, very important today that India closes these riots as whether we are a Hindu, Muslim Christian Buddhists Sikh any community, we must not indulge in violence. We must not fall prey to rumours, we must not be incited by some dubious political leaders, we must obey the law. We must follow the law and if we have any grievances against anybody or anything, we should use lawful methods of addressing those grievances. But otherwise we are playing into the hands of people that are allowing motivated dark forces that we saw in Mangaluru. As Kannadigas, we know what happened in Mangaluru was motivated and criminal elements that jump into these kinds of situations. We must not allow them space. I appeal for peace, just like the prime minister has appealed for peace and harmony. Let us not create divisions at the behest of these vested interests who want to create chaos and disharmony in pockets of India. 

Also read: PM Narendra Modi breaks silence in Delhi violence, calls for peace

Question: One party says that this situation in Delhi is created by a BJP leader Kapil Mishra through his communal statements. But the other side says it's just a blame-game by both the parties. 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: See, here is the reality. No statement right or wrong by anybody justifies people taking law into their own hands and killing people and resorting to violence. Nothing justifies violence. If I don't like something you say, the most I can do is go to the court. I must use the law to counter anything that we find objectionable. There are laws for that, but to use a Kapil Misrha’s statement that we want to clear the roads, as I understand, is just a statement. And we use that statement to justify violence and killing? You know there were three policemen who were attacked. One policeman died, another policeman was threatened with a gun. The DCP was hospitalized because he was hammered with stones. These cannot be justified by any logic. You cannot say somebody said something; so you went and killed a policeman. You cannot say somebody said something and shoot eight bullets. Nothing justifies criminal action, nothing justifies criminal conduct. Whatever a politician says, it should remain like that as a verbal warfare. You go on Twitter, troll each other, do whatever you want. But you cannot justify taking law into your own hands, killing people, killing policemen, intimidating others and destroying property. And you can't justify that by saying that somebody said something.

Question: So, do you think government should take a similar step which it took in Jammu and Kashmir? It shut down the internet and the social media where these kinds of messages were being spread and provocations being made? 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: I think the government must make one last appeal. We must appeal to the good people. The good Indian citizens do not take to violence. We must make that possible. But if people still behave illegally, criminally, then the government must take every step, including fully supporting the police. I fully support internet shutdown if that is required. I fully support the police being given stronger power, tools and resources. But we must do that after I think one more appeal is made and then people are given an opportunity to go back home and introspect on what it is that they're doing. They're playing into the hands of vested interests. And the other underlying thing, I believe is that the government must not hesitate, and the police must not hesitate to prosecute each and every one who has taken law into their own hands.

Question: There is continuous provocation on Twitter and Facebook and many other social sites. The death toll is increasing. 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: There is a bigger question here as to who are the forces, who are the people who have incited this violence, who are the people who are sitting today, very happy and smiling and trending hashtags about the violence? Two days ago, a trending hashtag about Delhi violence originated in Pakistan. They are the ones that join what is going on in Delhi. So, it is almost like gullible Indian citizens who are being misled by lies and cannon fodder. It is also from cross-border vested interests that are interested in making India descend into chaos. But one thing is that they are under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our Home Minister Amit Shah, and now under the National Security Advisor. We will not allow these vested interests to control the narrative and take over the narrative and incite Indians anymore. 

Question: So do you think Pakistan is still playing its game?

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: One 100%! It is clear that there are conspirators in India and I'm sure as investigations in mind, you can see even the Mangaluru incident. The way to try and stop the investigation into the crime is to involve the Commissioner of Police in these three districts of Hubli, Mangaluru and Bengaluru. All commissioners have been running back and forth to the court. Instead of the police investigating these crimes, you saw two things. One is the police are kept busy with the high court. And the second, you have a group of politicians who would come and jump and start saying, “No, no, no. Nothing happened. Nothing happened, nothing happened.”

So, this is an old model of first creating a riot, using the right to intimidate and blackmail and then keeping the police busy with the high court, filing PILs and having political support from the small parties who are absolutely, you know, shameless. So, we have to see at the end of all this, who are the forces behind this. Who are the forces that contributed to this kind of incitement, monetarily, financially, whatever. And we have to make sure this never happens again in this country. 

Question: Sir, we have a very strong intelligence bureau, but on the other side, you're blaming Pakistan for these riots.  These riots are similar to what happened in Gujarat 2002.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: Let us be clear that this whole provocation for violence was delivered by taking a set of lies about the CAA and this non-existent NRC. How can you blame? You know, youngsters have been sort of brainwashed into believing something and don't understand what is going on. There are so many so-called responsible people going around and peddling these lies. I was recently in a programme where on a panel there were two senior people who were peddling a lie about the NRC even knowing fully well that there is no NRC. The government has conceived only NRC in Assam, as mandated by the Supreme Court. Everybody knows the truth. But these people who have been incited and provoked to come on the streets and take to violence have been fed lies.

They have been fed lies that their citizenship is under threat. You know all kinds of lies. None of these is true. The truth must prevail. People must understand and go back home and lead proper lives.

They should not fall prey to what is clearly, in my opinion, deliberate provocation by some dark forces that are interested in the de-stabilizing of this country. There is no doubt in my mind at all.

Question: Sir, is it possible when you say de-stablizing a country like India, will they be scared by some of the dark forces? 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: No, nobody's scared of it. But obviously, nobody likes to see images of violence and burning like in Mangaluru. Nobody likes to see images of violence and burning like in Uttar Pradesh. Nobody likes to see a riot when the President of the USA, the most powerful man on the planet, is in India and wants to get closer to India. None likes that deliberate organisation of riots. No good Indian, no good-thinking Indian of whatever faith will support this. So therefore, today it's not about us being afraid. It is we who are sending a message that look these dark forces will fail. We have to defeat them with reason. We will defeat them by the use of law, but not by counterthreats. 

Question: Sending message is okay. But a  lot of people are dying here. How will you control these deaths? 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar: No, no, I have appealed today also on Twitter & I hope the police are given a stronger hand because I am told that some policemen are also saying, “Look, why should we get into this when we are going to be facing PILs and we are going to be facing high court action?”

So therefore, the government must support the police, encourage them and they must be given the ability and the space to do their job which is to enforce the law and to prosecute those who violate the law.