Police Accused of Protecting Main Culprits of Delhi Riot

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Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava with other police officials at Shiv Vihar. PTI

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Recently, Delhi Police filed a series of charge sheets implicating a number of people, overwhelming majority of them Muslims, in anti-Muslim communal violence that Delhi witnessed in February. Those framed are mostly activists who participated in the protests opposing Citizenship (Amendment) Act that the parliament enacted in December 2019.

The police have named some prominent personalities like Harsh Mander and Yogendra Yadav and groups like United Against Hate, Tablighi Jamaat, Pinjra Tod as well as students and alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia. Press reports and commentaries by opinion leaders express dismay over the fact that the police have completely ignored the role played by BJP leaders such as Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur. They all have been accused of giving provacative speeches which raked up the violence in the last week of February leading to worst ever riot that the capital saw since anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

According to a report published on the website of Caravanmagazine, the victims and eyewitnesses of Delhi violence have filed many complaints with police in March and February which show how the BJP leaders and the police played a leading role in the riots against the Muslims in the affected areas. However, there is no sign that the police acted on the victims’ complaints against the BJP leaders and the erring policemen. On the contrary, the complainants, they say, are being threatened and intimidated to withdraw the complaints by the police.

Apart from Kapil Mishra, the complainants named BJP MP from Bhagpat Styapal Singh, who was police commissioner of Mumbai, BJP MLA from Loni Nand Kishore Gujjar, Mohan Singh Bisht, BJP MLA from Karawal Nagar, BJP leader and former MLA from Mustafabad Jagadish Pradhan. The complainants also noted how the police officers were involved in unleashing violence and starting riots.

Supreme Court lawyer Mahmood Pracha told Clarion India that the police are sparing the culprits at the behest of Home Ministry. Pracha said he does not expect that the police will do anything to bring the BJP leaders, who indulged in riots, to justice. The police are itself culprit, he said. “Along with BJP/RSS people, the police were involved in unleashing violence against the Muslims. We will bring those erring policemen to justice through the court,” Pracha maintained.

Social activist Prashant Tandon also castigated Delhi Police for failing to act against the BJP leaders and the real culprits of the riots. He told Clarion India that there is a problem with the police in India. It does not fulfil its constitutional duties and responsibilities. It needs reforms and better system. He cited the cases of lynching in which the police filed FIR against the victims itself. He said what the police are doing in Delhi riot cases is very shameful.

One of the complaints, which named Kapil Mishra, has been sent to the Prime Minister’s office, Delhi Police Commissioner’s office, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi’s Lieutenant General. The complainant Mohammed Jami Rizvi said Kapil Mishra instigated the mob to attack and shouted violent slogans on 23 February. Caravanmagazine has recorded some of the testimonies of the riot victims. The unfortunate lots have suffered double jeopardy: First at the hands of rioters and policemen; and now being targeted by the police department.

“Kapil Mishra and his accomplices, who were carrying guns, swords and tridents, spears, sticks, stones and glass bottles et cetera, were chanting casteist and communal slogans”.

“Mishra then addressed the crowd, ‘Those who clean the toilets of our homes, should we now place them on a pedestal?’ His accomplices shouted in response, ‘Absolutely not.’ Then Kapil Mishra said, ‘These Muslims were first protesting CAA and NRC, and now they even started protesting for reservation. Now we will have to teach them a lesson,” noted Rizvi in his complaint.

Mishra’s provocative speeches triggered violence as his accomplices started throwing stones at the protesters. “After this, in the presence of the police, they began stopping cars on the road. They identified the vehicles of Muslims and Dalits, and while abusing them and calling them anti-nationals, mullahs, and using casteist words against the Dalits, they beat them up and destroyed their cars.”

Rizvi added, “Kapil Mishra was brandishing his gun in the air and telling all the attackers, “Don’t leave these fuckers. Today we will teach them such a lesson that they will forget how to protest.”

A complainant Rubina Bano, a resident of Chand Bagh, also named Mishra in her complaint. Now, she alleged that she is being threatened by the policeman. “I am now getting threats directly from the policemen who often knock at my doors.”

Rehmat, another resident of Chand Bagh, filed a complaint at the Dayalpur police station saying that Mishra started firing at the protesters.

“At night, the owner of Mohan Nursing Home, his staff, Kapil Mishra, and his associates started firing at the protesters and attacked them with lathis, sticks and swords. Many people were injured. I left for home by midnight,” she said in her complaint.

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