Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday, along with a delegation of senior Congress leaders including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and Randeep Surjewala, met President Ram Nath Kovind to seek normalcy and peace in violence-hit Delhi. The death toll has reached 33.
The party also submitted a memorandum to the president which states:”The situation is so grim that the Delhi High Court had to step in on Wednesday and remind the Home Ministry and Police of their duty to act against the instigators and rioters. “This is a shameful indictment of the Central Government, the Home Ministry and the Home Minister himself.”
Here’s is the full text of memorandum submitted to President Kovind:
February 27th, 2020
Shri. Ram Nath Kovind,
New Delhi 110001
Subject: Abdication of Constitutional Duty to protect and secure the lives and property of the residents of Delhi by the Central Government and the Home Minister from the systematic and organised wave of continuing violence taking place in the National Capital, Delhi.
We write to you on a matter of grave public interest.
I. You must undoubtedly be aware of the unprecedented violence, arson, looting, stone-pelting and brutal murders taking place in the national capital over the last four days.
Delhi, specifically parts of North East Delhi, have been gripped by a wave of violence that has only grown in intensity with each passing day.
Instead of taking active steps to remedy or diffuse the situation, the Central Government as also the newly elected Delhi Government, have remained mute spectators as completely mindless rage, designed violence and organised looting of property has continued unabated.
Due to the complete inaction on the part of the Home Minister and the Central Government, the violence has claimed the lives of at least 34 people and over 200 have been injured at last count. Several crores worth of properties and business have fallen prey to unchecked arson and looting.
This chaos, which is unprecedented in scale and tone, gives rise to several questions.
First, where was the Home Minister and what was he preoccupied with since last Sunday that he was unable, apparently, to give his attention to these grave events? For that matter, the Delhi Chief Minister, and the newly elected Delhi Government was also completely missing from the scene.
Second, there was clearly a shocking and, in this day and age, unpardonable failure of intelligence agencies leading up to these heart-breaking events. Was there any information provided which could have helped prevent escalation of violence or was it not acted upon by the Home Ministry?
Third, what was the strength of the police force deployed on the night of Sunday when there were clear indications that violence will intensify further? This is important because the forces on the ground were clearly inadequate to quell the situation, which has continued to claim more lives since. In fact, why were additional security forces not deployed immediately by the Home Minister when it was clear that the situation was beyond the control of the Delhi police?
In light of these disturbing facts and omissions, only one conclusion emerges: That the Home Minister abdicated his duty and allowed the situation to escalate through his inaction.
Therefore, there is no option left but to demand the immediate sacking of the Home Minister, who has utterly and abjectly failed in the performance of his primary and principal duties.
The situation is so grim that the Delhi High Court has had to step in (on February 26th, 2020) and remind the Home Ministry and the Police of their principal duty to act against instigators, the rioters and those engaging in the acts of targeted violence. This is a shameful indictment of the Central Government, the Home Ministry and the Home Minister himself.
II. What is particularly worrying is that an atmosphere of sectarian hate and communal tensions has been spread and deliberately cultivated by certain individuals and forces.
This violence has taken place over the course of four days, but you are aware that the seeds of this division have been sown by deliberately made inflammatory remarks of BJP leaders in the run up to (and even after) the Delhi elections and a calculated design to foment hate and division amongst the citizens of this country.
Rashtrapatiji, you will recall that this year marks the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji gave his life upholding the ideals of Ahimsa, compassion, brotherhood and unity, which form the pillars on which our Constitution and democracy rest.
It is how the leaders and institutions of a country react in times of crisis that defines how we are remembered by history and the rest of the world. We cannot be found wanting in this hour where certain groups seek to divide the people of our great nation for their parochial and petty gains.
III. Rashtrapatiji you are given the highest possible responsibility under the Constitution of India: to act as the conscience keeper of this Government and to remind it of its Constitutional duty and the pillars of Raj Dharma, by which any just government must abide.
We call upon you and the Constitutional Office you hold, that the life, liberty and property of the citizens is preserved, secured and protected. We also reiterate that you should immediately call for the removal of the Home Minister given the gross ineptitude, abdication of duty and his inability to contain the situation.
We owe this to the citizens who have lost loved ones, their homes, their livelihood and most of all their long-cherished amity and brotherhood.
We hope you will take decisive action in the matter
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines