Activists Say Delhi Police Probe into Riots Biased, Write to President

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The content of the letter calls the move of the investigative agency as ‘partial’ and spoke of its inclination to placate one community ‘at the cost of the other’

Mohd Aasif | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – About 200 activists and like-minded people have expressed their dismay to President of India Ramnath Kovind over the ‘order’ of the Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) to senior officers probing the February North-East Delhi riots, to take “due care and precaution” while arresting the Hindu youths.

In a letter to the President sent on July 24, they urged him to take note of the seriousness of the situation and also, being the head of the state, to intervene in the matter.

The content of the letter calls the move of the investigative agency as ‘partial’ and spoke of its inclination to placate one community ‘at the cost of the other’. The reports of the Delhi police officers being asked to go soft on Hindus while investigating the communal violence that claimed 53 lives had come as a shock, said the activists, and added that media reports had mentioned that caution had been advised while arresting the Hindu youth found involved in the violence.

“The blatant partisanship of the police as expressed in the letter only supports the doubts in the minds of the minority Muslims who have been claiming that even after them being the main targets and victims of the violence, the police have made disproportionate arrests from the community and have been targeting them under the garb of investigation”, said the activist Shabnam Hashmi.

According to the letter, the police in the court have literally exonerated the leaders of the BJP who delivered provocative speeches against the Muslims and Anti-CAA protestors. “It shows that the police are going out of their way to make the whole exercise of investigation one-sided and directed against the Muslims”, reads the letter.

“The role of the Delhi Police during the violence has been criticized by independent observers who found them to be clearly acting against Muslims, either looking the other way when they were being attacked or actively participating in the violence themselves”, says the letter, fearing that the probe would destroy the trust of the Muslim community in the agencies of the Indian state.

The activists expressed apprehensions that the larger implications of a professional force turning into an instrument of partisan political interests were far more serious for a democracy like India to function. The letter further said, “If it becomes the norm, the police of Assam, Meghalaya, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, etc., for example, would be acting on behalf of the dominant social group there.”

The President’s intervention has been sought to restore the faith of the people in the state agencies, say activists.

Last week, a group of retired bureaucrats, including former officers of police and intelligence, had written a letter to the President seeking a commission of inquiry to look into the questionable investigation of the riots. The letter, while accusing the Delhi police of being complicit, had demanded that a high court judge be asked to investigate the conduct of the police and mob violence in a free and fair manner.

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