Friday, August 12th, 2022 06:24:45

Report of Delhi Minorities Commission on Riots 2020 Not Wider & Inclusive

Updated: July 30, 2020 2:52 pm

We, members of the Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) are writing to you the Hon. President of India, Sri Ramnath Kovind, to draw your attention towards the Report of the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on the Delhi Riots released on 10 July 2020. The Delhi Minorities Commission is a statutory body charged with the task of overlooking minority welfare in Delhi. The report referred to is biased, communal and one-sided.

 

Communal Victim card being played by Delhi Minorities Commission in the Report

We in GIA read the entire report in detail and would like to draw your attention towards the biased, illogical and unsubstantiated nature of this report that seeks to create further communal tension. We quote from the report from page 11. para no.1 in the Preface.

‘The violence which hit Delhi’s North East district on 23 February 2020 and continued unabated for the next few days was seemingly planned and directed to teach a lesson to a certain community which dared to protest against a discriminatory law.

The report has thus begun with a dangerous presumption.

Further we quote: from the report pg 11 para 2

‘Attempts ever since are being made to shield the planners, instigators, leaders and perpetrators of that violence and turn the victims into culprits. Courts of law will play their crucial role to see through the web of deceit being woven by certain quarters including a section of media. It is encouraging that victims are coming forward to seek justice and speak out. A section of the media is doing its duty to faithfully unearth the unpalatable truths.

A Report as crucial and important as this one needed to be based on ground facts .It is clear above that the Delhi Minorities Commission is indulging in a victim card and conspiracy theory and is carrying the narrative of the section of the media it feels is sympathetic. This in itself casts doubt on the seriousness of the report.

 

Further Victim card being played and propagated by Delhi Minorities Commission

Further victim card is being played and the riots linked with the Citizenship Amendment Act which incidentally has nothing to do with Indian Muslims.

‘We stand at the threshold of a crucial stage. Most victims of the religious minority have stated stories and put forth illustrations reflecting religious bias against them, inasmuch as being treated as a separate and distinct ‘community’ rather than citizens of the country. I have no doubt in stating that the same discriminatory bias and hate became reason for the minorities to take a lead in the protests against the discriminatory CAA. The protests were legitimate and peaceful.’

We would like to draw your kind attention towards the fact that if a statutory body like the Delhi Minorities Commission carries such biases then we as citizens are concerned for any further social solidarity and amity between communities. There is also a blatant lie being peddled in the above extract. The anti-CAA protests were far from peaceful.

Delhi was being systematically subject to communalization and violence from December 2019 itself. Data collected from the ground reveals that protest sites against an Indian government policy, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) systematically established in Delhi since mid December 2019 were far violent from the starting.

There were a total of 13 cases of rioting registered against anti-CAA protesters in the Central, Southern and Eastern ranges of Delhi. Of these between 16- 20 December 2019, 7 cases of rioting and violence against anti-CAA protesters were registered in the Eastern range itself. The riot affected North East Delhi falls within this range. The locus of most of these rioting incidents by anti-CAA protesters was road number 66 connecting the GT road and the Wazirabad road.

 

Delhi Minorities Commission conjures an imaginary term ‘pro-CAA Rally (protesters)’

The DMC report weaves an astonishing story. It comes up with the term ‘pro-CAA Rally (protesters) on Pages 14 para 1 and 26 para 2

Seemingly, to crush the protests, with support of the Administration and Police, a retaliatory plan of pro-CAA protesters was worked out to trigger violence at a large scale which led to loss of lives and damage to hundreds of properties owned mainly by the Muslim religious minority.(page 14 Para 1)

We fail to understand what pro-CAA protesters are in entirety. Were these people who were being affected by a possible non-implementation of the CAA? Be it known that CAA became an act on 12 December 2019, and was already ready for further enforcement. What were the pro-CAA protesters? This is a smokescreen being created by the Delhi Minorities Commission in order to plant a pre-planned story.

 

Delhi Minorities Commission report builds a Political narrative

From a reading of the report it appears that the entire exercise is aimed at making a narrative against Kapil Mishra and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). We wish you to note that this extent of politicization has been responsible for the Delhi Riots. Almost all the persons under investigation for

the Delhi Riots either belong to the Congress Party (Safoora Zargar, Ishrat Jahan) or to the Aam Aadmi Party (Tahir Hussian) or to a group of Urban-Naxal-Jihadi outfits ( Pinjra Tod, outfits and ideological networks of the Jamat e Islami).

Delhi Minorities Commission is once again making attempts to malign the Indian State

There is also an attempt to malign State and law enforcement. We fear that given the past record of the Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission therein lies an attempt to internationally malign India. We quote:

Partisanship and bias on the part of the Police and Government have led to the abject failure of duty and of the law and order machinery in the Capital of India. Investigations have purposefully been misdirected to change the narrative of the cause of the violence that erupted in the North-East district of Delhi.(Page 14 ,l ast Para)

Report attempts to subvert the due process of Law

We also sense a blatant attempt at subverting the due process of Law.

…Persons like Dr M.A. Anwar of Al-Hind Hospital of Mustafabad have been castigated in the chargesheet. This reflects the partisan bias and shoddy methodology adopted in the investigation process.(Page 14 ,last para)

Evidence and investigation are the tools to establish the innocence of those charge sheeted in any crime. We urge you to look into the narrative being peddled above.

 

Ridiculous nature of the report

At times the report turns ridiculous. It deliberately calls the chief Minister of UP, Yogi Adytiyanath by his name that he no longer uses (page 28 Para 4). It mentions the slogan “desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko” (The country’s traitors, shoot them rascals) which incidentally is a take on the popular urban naxal slogan “Satta ke dalalon ko Goli maaro saloon ko” while ignoring the numerous incendiary secessionist slogans raised by anti-CAA protesters.

While reporting on violence against women the DMC report brings in Bollywood!!

A woman narrated how a movie based on Partition (Gadar) was referenced by the mob to attack her. She said that the rioters had all kinds of weapons with them; they had lathis, swords and they kept chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and “Mullon ko Maaro” (Kill the Muslims!). The rioters were yelling at the women and, saying, “Bahut see sakeenaayein aaj pakdi jaayengi.”(A lot of Sakeenas [Muslim women] would be caught today.) (Page 62 section 2.4,1)

The report is fixated on Kapil Mishra and his speech. The fact is that there are almost 300 such hate Speeches including those of Sonia Gandhi, Warris Pathan, Amanatullah Khan, Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Sharjeel Usmani etc that call for much graver violence than the one speech the entire report is fixated upon.

 

Privileges Gender and ignores Gendercide in the violence in North East Delhi(Section 2.4.5)

GIA empathizes with the violence suffered by all communities in the Delhi Riots 2020. It feels outraged by the gendered nature of violence directed at women irrespective of religious identity. We thus urge you to consider this report that tries to draw a bias even where gendered violence is concerned. However we also urge you to consider that the Delhi Violence is also a Gendercide. An inordinate number of men were targeted by violent female mobs in North-East Delhi. Constable Ratal Lal of the Delhi Police was shot dead. IB staffer Ankit Sharma was stabbed and killed in the most brutal way possible.The GIA report on Delhi Riots 2020 has shown this, based on hard data.

 

Attack on Religious Identity (Section 2.4.6)

The DMC report mentions that there was an attack on religious identity of Muslims. Data from all over Delhi including North East Delhi shows that crowds at protest sites were intensely anti-Hindu. Media, slogans and speeches raised in these sites targeted Indic symbols. The Om, Swastika and Maa Kali were trivialized and desecrated. We request that you look into evidences and we strongly object to this inversion of narratives.

 

Delhi Minorities Commission has tried to play the role of the Judiciary (Section 2.5.15) The Delhi Minorities Commission report gives a wrong sequence of events while discussing the initiation of violence in North East Delhi. We quote:

While discussing the deaths of IB Officer Ankit Sharma and Constable Ratan Lal the Delhi Minorities Commission report starts playing the role of the judiciary. It blames the Delhi Police for not parting with obviously sensitive documents that they have not shared with any member of the public.

 

The report gives a wrong sequence of the initiation of the Violence

The Delhi Minorities Commission report gives a wrong sequence of events while discussing the initiation of violence in North East Delhi. We quote:

Violence started in different pockets almost immediately after the short speech of Shri Kapil Mishra on 23 February 2020 at Maujpur in which he openly called for forcefully removing the protestors at Jafrabad in North East Delhi. He clearly said that he and his supporters will take matters into their own hands, alluding to extralegal vigilante tactics, in saying: “But after that we will not listen to the Police if roads are not cleared after three days…” The open admission of “not listening” to the police and extralegal tactics should have been seen by the authorities present as inciting violence. (Section 5.1 page 99)

Our research shows that The Jaffrabad –Wazirpur road, more specifically the 66 foot road was an area that was violent much before 23 February 2020. The immensely provocative act of blocking an arterial road connecting population of 25 lakhs approximately from outside was again done by anti-CAA protesters in the intervening night between 22 and 23 February 2020. A violent crowd of stone- pelters were already on the roads by the afternoon of 23 February 2020. By night the violence had intensified. Safoora Zargar was allegedly a part of this mobilization.

 

Analysis

Delhi Minorities Commission reaches conclusions that are based on presumptions derived from a day’s visit to the ground. This bias has formed the tone of the report.

We quote:

‘This was this Commission’s assessment when we paid an

official day-long visit to the violence-affected area on 2 March 2020.’(Page 11 para 1)

We in GIA draw your kind attention to the fact that Delhi Minorities Commission submits on page 11,para 1; quoted above that they paid a one day official visit to the site of riots on 2 March 2020 before the constitution of the fact finding committee on 9 March 2020. It is noteworthy that only a one day visit has sufficed to reach the conclusion that this was a planned attack against Muslims of North East Delhi. This is conclusion based on insufficient data collection.

We understand that this is a Delhi Minorities Commission report and the Commission would focus on the minorities (Muslims). However we feel that given the importance of the report it should have been wider and inclusive. It is not possible to reach the conclusions about the nature of the violence unless both communities have been spoken to. The Delhi Riots 2020 was a tumultuous event in inter-community relations in the country. It was the outcome of politicisation of policy and the subversion of policy contestation by Urban Naxals and Jihadis. The role the Delhi Minorities Commission in such circumstances should have been to build bridges rather than peddle a fake narrative that may once again inflame communal passions.

 

(The article is based on an open letter by Group of Intellectualsand Academicians (GIA) to President of India)

 

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