Bajrang Dal youth formed procession in Jahangirpuri; police complicit in incident: Fact-finding report by Left

Team found BJP’s Delhi president Adesh Gupta and MP Hansraj Hans addressing a press conference in local police station in presence of officials. Around them were people shouting Jai Shri Ram slogans

Screengrab from a video shot during the violence
Screengrab from a video shot during the violence
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NH Web Desk

The communal violence in north-west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on April 16 occurred as part of the agenda of some of the Sangh Parivar affiliates to use religious occasions and festivals to create communal incidents and it should be seen in conjunction with the earlier incidents in Delhi, says a fact-finding report by Left parties (CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Forward Block).

The team found out that on Hanuman Jayanti, a group of 150 to 200 people armed with weapons in their hands and loud DJ music were roaming in processions since afternoon, raising slogans in the streets of Jahangirpuri.

Bystanders said they saw men in the procession brandishing pistols and swords, which is confirmed by videos shown on various TV channels. Loud and aggressive slogans were being given. The team was informed that this was not a procession organised by local people but by the youth wing of the Bajrang Dal with most hailing from outside the area.

The procession was accompanied by two police vehicles — one at the front of the procession and the other at the end. However, each jeep had only two personnel, found out the team.

The fact-finding team found that the procession had already made two rounds of the locality in Jahangirpuri’s Block C in which the dominant residents are Bengali-speaking Muslims. It was during the third round of procession that the incidents occurred.

“If there was a ‘conspiracy’ by local Muslim residents to attack the procession as alleged by BJP leaders, the attacks would have taken place earlier. The fact is that the incidents occurred when the procession stopped outside a mosque at the exact time when those who were keeping roza were gathering at the mosque for the prayers,” said the fact-finding report.

The team had also gone to the police station. There, they were surprised to find that the Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta and Member of Parliament Hansraj Hans were addressing a press conference inside the police station premises in the presence of police officials. Around them were people shouting Jai Shri Ram slogans, it said.

The report revealed that there has not been a single incident of communal clashes amongst people living in the locality. Hindus and Muslims have been living together for decades.

The Bengali Muslims have been living in Jahangirpuri since the inception of this resettlement colony, at least for four decades. They are mainly self-employed households involved in street vending, petty trade, selling of fish, waste collection etc.

It is shocking that the BJP should term them as “illegal” or describe them as Rohingya refugees as they are citizens of Delhi, said the report.

After visiting the area for the fact-finding report, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat and CPI(M) Delhi state secretary KM Tewari wrote a letter to Delhi Police commissioner Rakesh Asthana highlighting the role of the police in the “wholly-avoidable incidents of violence of a communal nature that occurred in Jahangirpuri on Saturday, April 16”.

The letter underscored that the police stated that the procession had police permission, but was permission given for carrying arms? In fact, those who carried arms had clearly violated the Arms Act which has stringent provisions of imprisonment for such violations, it said.

“From your statement to the media, it is unclear whether you have identified the persons in the processions who were carrying arms and if so whether they have been arrested under the relevant provisions of law including the Arms Act. It is also unclear from your statement whether there is any investigation into the role of the police. Who is accountable for allowing an armed procession to stop in front of a mosque shouting provocative and aggressive slogans at the exact time when the prayers?” asked Karat and Tewari in the letter.

They asserted in the letter that if adequate police arrangements had been made, if action had been taken against people carrying weapons and if the procession had not been allowed to stop in front of the mosque – the incidents would not have taken place.

“The Crime Branch to whom the investigation has been handed over is under the overall jurisdiction of the very police force which in the case of the Jahangirpuri incident is responsible,” pointed out the letter.

The Left parties have demanded that the Home Ministry and the President immediately intervene to reverse the ‘partiality’ of the Delhi Police. Action should be taken against the guilty police personnels immediately, they said.

They also wanted the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to break his silence and immediately intervene in the matter.

The police should ensure immediate action against these divisive forces, observed the fact-finding report.

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