Delhi Riots, 2020: 12-point indictment of BJP, Delhi Police and AAP Govt

What led to the Delhi riots in February and is it correct to blame people protesting against CAA for instigating the violence? The fact-finding committee comes up with some answers

A view of Northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar after the riots, on Feb 26, 2020. (IANS)
A view of Northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar after the riots, on Feb 26, 2020. (IANS)
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NH Web Desk

In a 130-page report released on Thursday by the Delhi Minorities Commission, BJP leaders and Delhi Police have been blamed for the rioting in North East Delhi in February this year. BJP and Delhi Police had put the blame on anti-CAA protestors and Muslim victims for the violence.

The fact-finding committee of the Commission have raised the following 12 issues to indict the BJP, Delhi Police and the Delhi Government for their failure to prevent the rioting, book the culprits and in taking up follow up measures.

1. Between December, 2019 and February, 2020, BJP leaders openly incited people against the anti-CAA protestors, both before, during and after the Delhi assembly election. They called for action against the protestors and said they were anti-nationals and needed to be thrown out.

2. BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s provocative speech on February 23,in the presence of DCP V.P. Surya, in which he served a 24-hour ultimatum for protestors to leave the protest site was followed the same night by mobs comprising both outsiders and a few identifiable local people triggering violence in the area.

3. Slogans raised by the mob made no secret of their affiliation. They chanted, “Har Har Modi”, “Jai Shri Ram”, “Kaat doh in mullon ko” etc.

4. Shops, houses and immovable property owned by Muslims were attacked, looted and set on fire. But shops owned by Muslims in buildings owned by Hindus were only looted.

5. The appearance of the mob of largely outsiders, the arms they carried and the refusal of the police to stop them indicated prior planning and flies in the face of claims that the rioting was spontaneous.

6. As many as 11 mosques in the area, five madrasas, a shrine and a Muslim graveyard were vandalized and the Holy Book was desecrated.

7. A large number of Muslims have been displaced, even from the relief centres where they had taken shelter on the pretext of the pandemic.

8. The report indicts Delhi Police for not responding to distress calls, for not stopping the mob on the plea that they did not have orders, for not dispersing the mob and for not registering FIRs.

9. The report says Delhi Police was complicit with the mob in several places, allowing them a free hand and even escorting them and instigating them at times.

10. Muslim victims of violence also found themselves at the receiving end of police brutality. The victims, especially those who protested, got into arguments or tried to register complaints, were physically assaulted and some arrested.

11. Muslim women were targeted by policemen who used communal and sexual innuendos to abuse them. The committee has recorded an incident in which a police officer is accused of flashing.

12. The committee records its disappointment over the Delhi Government failing to pay compensations to the victims, paying very little and delaying compensation; in sharp contrast public servants who got caught in the rioting have been compensated adequately and without any delay.

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