Delhi’s communal Riots: Never-ending sorrow
|| Anjan Kumar Samal
The particular place at Maujpur Chowk in the national capital, from where Kapil Mishra, AAP’s slapped BJP leader warned the agitators of CAA with the ultimatum in the presence of Delhi police on last February 23 seems the epic center of Delhi-Riot. From where Mr. Mishra warned “We are going now till Donald trump’s India tour ends, but after that, we will not listen to anybody including Delhi Police. If the paths meant for public convenience will not empty, then we must come back.”
Apart from this, ’Hindu Sena’ another radical Hindu outfit warned by giving an ultimatum to clear the path.
These are some hate statements that tell the whole story of violence in themselves.
The irresponsible statements of Kapil Mishra that he uttered in front of a senior officer of Delhi Police if would have taken seriously at that time by the concerned authorities than such unwanted violence could not have occurred that fractured the united brotherhood in the national capital of India.
It is not just about Kapil Mishra. During the Delhi elections, some BJP leaders knowingly voiced religious slogans targeting a particular religion which should not be termed only as of the part of the election but it also reflects the ill mindsets of our present leaders.
BJP put forward Hindutva and promoted the politics of vote in the name of religion in the last Assembly election in Delhi. The result of which did spread the unfortunate violence in Delhi.
That slogan of Pravesh Verma, “देश के गद्दारो को, गोली मारो … (“Shoot the traitors of the country … “) is also a prime reason behind the Delhi riots which the government and appropriate concerned authorities may or may not justify.
Till the riots, the mental state of Delhites was cooked with such an atmosphere that deteriorated faith and brotherhood between two communities living in Delhi.
The riot ignited when Trump, the most powerful man in the worlds was on a tour of India.
In the Delhi riots, very terrible pictures of violence have come to limelight. In these riots, all the ‘Laxman Rekha’ of Humanity and Human Rights crossed. The people who have suffered the riots are now telling those horrifying days of Delhi’s riots ridden moments.
How did the riots ignite?
Demonstrations were going on in various parts of Delhi for the last several days to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Apart from Shaheen Bagh, people were protesting in Jafrabad, Kardampuri, Chand Bagh, Khajuri Khas, Wazirabad and Yamuna Vihar areas.
On Saturday-Sunday, 23 Feb, the protesters in Zafarabad moved away from the service lane and sat under a flyover nearby the metro station. The atmosphere worsened when former MLA and BJP leader Kapil Mishra, along with some people in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act, availed their angry presence at Maujpur, about a kilometer away from Zafrabad.
After this, there were reports of clashes between CAA supporters and those who were protesting. Recorded videos were shared on social media, raising slogans from both sides.
The atmosphere started to get worse from Monday, 24 February, when some people sat at the Maujpur Chowk in support of the citizenship law. After this, people also took to the streets in protest against the citizenship law at the Kabir Nagar area. Around 10 pm stone-pelting began to take place among the people gathered at Maujpur Chowk and Kabir Nagar. This sequence continued till one o’clock in the day.
Private residential buildings and religious sites were also attacked in Jafrabad, Gokulpuri, and Bhajanpura amid stone-pelting. Amid deteriorating conditions, head constable Ratanlal was injured in Gokulpuri due to bullet and stone injuries, who died during treatment in the hospital. And DCP Shahdara Amit Sharma was injured and taken to the hospital.
When Delhi reverberated with religious slogans
Amidst the violence, the slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Nara-e-Takbir’ and ‘Allah-Hu-Akbar’ were nothing but these slogans worked as if the panic button the ignited the riots further. Hearing these slogans, people were forced to lurk in their homes and panic did spread several residential areas.
PM’s peace appeal
During these riots, no public leader came forward to communicate with the people. It was the common complaint of the common people that if a big leader, a parliamentarian, an MLA could reach out among their people, they could have been prevented from spreading the riot.
About 3 days after the riots started, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for peace. The PM tweeted and wrote, “Peace and harmony is our basic spirit. I appeal to the brothers and sisters of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is very important that the conditions are normal and peace should be restored at the earliest.”
Congress President Sonia Gandhi sought the resignation of Home Minister, Amit Shah. She also alleged that the violence in Delhi was the result of a ‘Pre-planned Intrigue’.
Delhi Police surrounded by many questions
The riots that broke out in Delhi within such a little span that put every Delhite under astonishment. Delhi Police that canned vigorously on the silent protesters of JNU and JAMIA was found silent as if a mute spectator. It’s the reason for which Delhi Police was also accused of not taking the right action at the right time to prevent the riots, which even the police rejected.
Many such videos came out in which Delhi Police was seen supporting some rioters. The rioters were throwing stones in front of the police and the police became a silent spectator.
The video of the vandalism of Delhi Police also gone viral, in which Delhi Police personnel were beating 4 boys on the road and directing them for singing the national anthem. One of them also has died. The deceased family has accused the police of discrimination and deliberate killing.
Apart from this, some videos have also surfaced in social media, in which the police themselves have been seen providing instructions to the rioters for stone-pelting.
Delhi High Court and Supreme Court also strictured that the police did not work professionally. There was no need to wait for someone’s order for action for the sake of restoration of the law and order…
High court intervention that ceased violence?
The Delhi High Court was the first to initiate cooling of Delhi when it was burning in the fire of riots and communal violence.
In the Delhi High Court, Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Anoop Bhumbani heard a petition late night in connection with the Delhi violence and ordered instantly for the necessary treatments of the victims.
The petition filed by human rights lawyer Surur Mander was heard even at the residence of Justice S. Muralidhar during the midnight.
Surur Mander had pleaded with the court in his petition that the Delhi Police should ensure that the injured could be taken from Al-Hind Hospital in Mustafabad to GTB Hospital and other government hospitals so that they could get the necessary treatment.
Justice Muralidhar heard the matter late at around 12:30.
The bench of Muralidhar and Justice Talwant Singh heard another petition.
This petition was filed by social activist Harsh Mander, in which police action was demanded on the provocative speeches of the leaders.
After the hearing, the High Court reprimanded the Delhi Police for not taking action against other BJP leaders, including Kapil Mishra, in the case of inflammatory speeches.
The High Court directed in this midnight hearing that FIRs should be registered against three BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, and Kapil Mishra. The court said that FIRs should also be registered based on other videos.
The High Court said that FIRs should be registered against three BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, and Kapil Mishra. The court said that FIRs should also be registered on the basis videos surfaced during the riots.
After this, Justice Muralidhar was transferred to Haryana High Court with immediate effect.
Could the police have stopped the riots?
The Supreme Court had questioned the functioning of Delhi Police and urged that Delhi Police did not professionally do its work. Police do not need anyone’s order for the sake of maintaining law and order. This comment of the Supreme Court becomes very important at a time when the Delhi Police was being viewed with suspicion.
1984: Sanjay Suri, who wrote the book about The Anti Sikh Riots, has told the BBC that the role of Delhi Police in the violence has also been questioned. The Delhi High Court has expressed displeasure over the lax action of the police.
The court has lashed out at the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs on the provocative statements of leaders like Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, and Anurag Thakur and for not investigating the video on violence those did spread in social media. The court also has lashed out on Delhi police for not taking immediate action to curb the violence.
Apart from this, senior journalist Rahul Bedi, who covered the 1984 riots, also term the inaction of the police. According to BBC News, he told, “The involvement of police in riots does not always mean that they also will start killing and brutalizing people along with rioters. The involvement of police riots does not mean to give free hand to criminals and anti-socials for igniting any communal atmosphere. The involvement of police in riots does not mean to provide immunity to rioters for protecting them. ”
Now even many such statements surfaced on social media in which Police look like a mute spectator. Many victims and eyewitnesses have accused the police of not taking prompt action.