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Delhi minority panel report: ‘NE riots preceded by calls for violence during poll season’

The report stated that violence broke out in different parts of Northeast Delhi after “BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s speech at Maujpur, in which he openly called for forcefully removing the protesters at Jafrabad in Northeast Delhi”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: July 17, 2020 1:51:08 am
northeast delhi riots, delhi riots, delhi clashes, delhi news, city news, indian express At Shiv Vihar, among the worst-hit areas in Delhi riots. File

The Delhi Minorities Commission’s fact-finding report on the Northeast Delhi riots has stated that the violence was “planned and targeted”. The committee, headed by advocate M R Shamshad, stated that there was “repeated incitement to violence” throughout the Delhi Assembly poll campaign from December 2019 to February 2020, and there were “a number of speeches by BJP leaders inciting people to violence against anti-CAA protesters”.

The report stated that violence broke out in different parts of Northeast Delhi after “BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s speech at Maujpur, in which he openly called for forcefully removing the protesters at Jafrabad in Northeast Delhi”.

“The violence… was clearly preceded by a number of speeches by BJP leaders openly maligning anti-CAA protesters… making derogatory remarks laden with communal undertones and open threats of violence, and to cast the Shaheen Bagh protests in a negative light to build an ‘anti-Shaheen Bagh’ narrative,” the report stated.

It also assessed some of the damage caused during the riots through witness testimonies, while also detailing the police response. “In some cases, police merely stood as onlookers while the mobs engaged in looting, burning and violence. In others, they explicitly gave a go-ahead to the perpetrators to continue with their rampage… A few accounts state how police and paramilitary officers even escorted the perpetrators safely out of the area once the attack was over. In some cases, police escorted victims also to safety,” the report alleged.

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On the report, Delhi Police spokesperson Anil Mittal said, “We have not received the report so far. We will study it and then react. However, the Delhi Police encourages people to come forward and register their complaints. We have also set up a robust public grievance system, have issued advertisements in the newspapers and launched a helpline number to encourage people to file their complaints. Moreover, 752 cases were registered, highest in any riot investigations. The majority of the cases were registered on the complaints of people from the minority community.

More than 200 chargesheets have been filed… all cases were investigated fairly and professionally”.
Northeast Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari said there seems to be a hidden agenda in the way the report has been prepared:

“Firstly, we saw how hate speeches were made at Shaheen Bagh during the anti-CAA protest… hateful statements were made against our senior leaders. Then buses were burnt in Jamia area, which led to people in nearby areas living in fear…”

“Finally, there was a deliberate attempt to destroy the visit of President Trump and give a bad name to the country… there was an attempt to cut the whole of Northeast Delhi from the rest of Delhi over an act which was not taking anyone’s citizenship,” he said.

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