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Deadly Delhi Riots

History was made on December 9, 2019 when the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) with an overwhelming majority of 311 votes to 80 votes. Again, on December 11, after a 9 hour long, intense debate, the Rajya Sabha passed the CAB with 125-105 votes. Needless to add, the passage of CAB by the Indian Parliament, which represents the will of India's 1.3 billion citizens, is the biggest endorsement that this landmark bill, has both its head and heart in the right place.

What then, explains the protests in Bengal, Gaya, Jaffarabad, Seelampur and other parts of Delhi? With various issues and slogan chanted, this article covers for curx of what happened in CAA protests.

What is Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) is an act that was passed in the Parliament on December 11, 2019. The 2019 CAA amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 allowing Indian citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities who fled from the neighboring Muslim majority countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014 due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution.

However, the Act excludes Muslims. Under CAA 2019 amendment, migrants who entered India by December 31, 2014, and had suffered religious persecution or fear of religious persecution in their country of origin, were made eligible for citizenship by the new law. These type of migrants will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in six years. The amendment also relaxed the residence requirement for naturalization of these migrants from eleven years to five.

Why people are protesting against CAA?
There have widespread protests across the country including the national capital region and north-eastern states against the CAA amendment. The protest in Assam and other north-eastern states turned violent over fears that the move will cause a loss of their political rights, culture and land rights and motivate further migration from Bangladesh. The agitators say that new amendment in Citizenship Act discriminates against Muslims and violates the right to equality enshrined in the Constitution of the country. Sects like Shias and Ahmedis also face persecution in Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan but are not included in the CAA. Questions were also raised on the exclusion of persecuted religious minorities from other regions such as Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Going ahead with this, the people who were against this started having march, and violence, So basically, this all began on 22 February where women and man gathered on road near Jafrabad in north-east. The protestors planned march from ELLYs chant bag to the raj Ghaat.

One of the key charges in the panels report is that BJP leader Kapil Mishra, a former Delhi minister who lost the February 8 Assembly polls this year, triggered the riots through a speech in Maujpur on February 23. On the same day clashes happened and situation got more worst. At 4 PM on that day police restarted lathi charge and firing tear gas shells, and at 9 PM this happened again but this time vehicle were gutted and shops destroyed.

These all continued for many days. After certain period od time, this warm hearts got bit cold and situation was under control. According to trade bodies,they have estimated a loss of $34.65 billion. Initial reports suggest that rioters burnt 92 houses, 57 shops, 500 vehicles, six warehouses, two schools, four factories, and four religious places.
Seeing this picture one cannot decide wheatear it is India or Syria. some people say that these riots started after the inflammatory speech of Kapil Mishra and some people say when this man named Mohamad Shahrukh opened fire on the streets and violence began to spread.

But just like any other communal riot, even here it is difficult to ascertain which side threw the first stone, and who set fire first, This might get clear after the investigation. In fact, we might probably never get to know either.

But there are some things which can been clearly stated in this situation, like:
Firslty, This atmosphere of riots was created not since the past few weeks but since the past few months.

The entire campaign was based Hindu-Muslim and Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh is known as the epicenter of Agitation against the CAA. furthermore, A Student was injured from the univeristy as he tried to stop the shooter. This incident came soon after Anuarag Thakur, BJP leader, was heard promoting this slogan, at a rally  Desh Ke Gaddaron Ko Goli Maro
(shoot the traitors).

This slogan basically motivates the common public to pick up weapons and shoot the people that you think the traitors are. This isnt stoking the violence? Doesnt this trigger a common man to go violence?
On one side there were politicians and on one hand there was our godi media who ran  Hindu-Muslim themes on the Television, day in- day out. And then later, the same anchors of the godi media go to the riot affected areas, considered themselves heroes, and say that they want harmony and peace and not fight with one another. Conditions were so terrible before elections that until the day of the elections, their workers were busy terrifying the people and telling them that they should vote for the BJP because the Hindus are in danger.

The kind of hatred that was spread had been created. so it is no surprise that the people eventually succumbed to the pressure and started to fight each other.

Here, blaming entire party is not done as some people are genuine towards there work and for there country. For say, Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwari criticized the comments of Kapil Mishra.

In fact, when the riots were ongoing, a local BJP ward councillor kept a Muslim family safe in his house from the riots. So it is not that all people are bad in the party, the only problem in that people within the BJP that insitgates violence overpower the good over there.

Accepting the riots began, but after that whose job it is to stop the riots and maintain law and order? – The Delhi Police. The reaction of the Delhi police during the riots was very astonishing. we expect police o protect us and the citizens but some videos were surfaced which show police themselves were pelting stones.

A fact finding report of civil right group has found out that during the riots, the Delhi police did not answer any help calls between 48-72 hours. so the people kept calling the police for protection, for not getting themselves injured, but no response was there from the police side. People said that police didnt played any role.

This same incident happened past few months when there was an attack in JNU, and where the police was same, giving no response.

Despite the open display of weapons and firearms, sufficient actions were not taken by the district administration or police to protect life and property, the report by the ten-member committee headed by senior Supreme Court lawyer M.R. Shamshad said.

The Committee said police officials either remained mute spectators or even participated in the violence. It said multiple testimonies recounted police inaction even as violence unfolded before them or of police not arriving despite being called repeatedly. Testimonies also recall how the police were patrolling the area, but when asked for help, they refused saying they had no orders to act.

This, it said, suggested a pattern of deliberate inaction over several days.

The report said:
a few accounts state how the police and paramilitary officials even escorted the mobs safely out of the area once the attack was over. It added that some residents had also named senior police officials as leading, participating and encouraging targeted violence against Muslims.

The letter, signed among others by former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah; former Central IC Shailesh Gandhi; civil rights activists Aruna Roy, Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey, Henri Tiphagne and Vipul Mudgal; journalist P. Sainath, academics Jayati Ghosh and Prabhat Patnaik, former Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed, and former IPS officers Julio Ribeiro and Shafi Alam, also highlighted instances of police complicity in the violence in detail.

Supporting its claims with links to various news reports, the letter cited how an instance of police complicity was caught on video near the Maujpur metro station. It showed uniformed policemen assaulting an injured youth – later identified as 23-year-old Faizan – who was lying on the road. He succumbed to his injuries a few days later.
This is the reason why lot of people label the Delhi riots as a program. This word program means a mob attack appraned by government, administration, or authorities, directly or indirectly.

The root cause of this is the police system in our country, which has became puppet In the hands of politicians. The police would react along the lines of what the ruling party wants.\

The Retired police officer, Prakash Singh who serves as chairman of Indian Police Foundation, says that police invariably reflects the bias of the ruling party. Everybody knows today that how the police reacts depends upon the ruling party.

Violence was systematic:
The report said the violence that followed was organised and had a systematic pattern.

It observed that mobs of 100-1000 people fanned out chanting slogans and selectively attacked Muslim individuals, houses, shops, vehicles, mosques and other property. In many of the attacks, it said, outsiders were involved apart from local residents.

Further rather than being spontaneous, the report said:
the perpetrators positioned themselves strategically in the residential areas which along with the testimonies revealed that the violence was planned and targeted. In some instances, victims wep;re asked to show their ID cards and then targeted on the basis of their faith, it added.

The Commissions report claims that the violence was planned, organised and targeted, and not a spontaneous one like a riot.

The report says that the mob, mostly belonging to outsiders led by some locals, specifically targeted Muslim houses and properties while chanting slogans like Jai Shri Ram, Har Har Modi, Modi Ji, Kaat Do In Mullon Ko And Aaj Tumhein Azadi Denge.

The attacks were targeted to the extent that in instances where the owners were Hindus but the properties had been rented to Muslims, the buildings were spared but the moveable properties were looted or burnt outside the premises, says the report.

When the trust of the public in the police is shattered, then there is a sole remaining institution upon which the common man can rest his expectations and that is the judiciary.
And on 27th February, the Delhi High Court showed a beacon of hope when they delivered a judgment that they actually rebuked the Delhi police for not filing FIRs against Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur, and was ordered police to file FIRs but right on the night of the 27th February, the judge that took his decision was transferred by the government.

The judge was justice Muralidhar of the Delhi High court. then it is obvious that a question arises whether the Government is doing this to protect its BJP ministers?////

On the next day after the transfer, the other judge took the place, and High Court decided that there is no need for the immediate FIRs. they allowed the time period of one month to file FIRs.

What is unfortunate is that even after the riots, neither Godi media nor the BJP ministers who incite violence have mended their ways. The deaths of the people in riots are being used for their political propaganda, politics and to spread hate in the nation.

Although more than 48 people have been killed in the riots, but you would here more about the deaths of one or two moslty on the TV channels, as if everything revolves around that. For example, one of these would be the death of the IB officer Ankit Sharma who was killed in an extremely brutal manner, the suspect here is the councillor of Aam Aadmi party, Tahir Hussain
One of the main protagonists of the sinister story is Tahir Hussain, the AAP leader who spearheaded the Delhi riots in which IB staffer Ankit Sharma was murdered brutally by his mob and several Hindu properties were burnt to ashes. Chargesheet has been filed against Tahir Hussain and his role in the Delhi riots.

The charge sheet pertaining to FIR number 114 focuses on the role of Tahir Hussain and his accomplices in the burning of several Hindu shops in the Khajuri Khas area. It outlines how Tahir Hussain planned and implemented the riots with clinical precision and specifically targeted Hindus and their properties in the area.

Tahir Hussain admits that he, along with his brother Shah Alam, Arshad, Abid, Shahid, Irshad and several others were present at his residence. His office space is also in the same building from where the riots were launched. Tahir Hussain then discloses that on the 24th afternoon, his mobs started chanting Allah Hu Akbar and Maaro Maaro Kaafiro Ko Maaro.
It is not wrong to report this but the way our media report is wrong. our media is showing all the riots and not the pictures where Delhi police and there incompetnecy is shown, this is all being ignored and it merely broadcasting this issue because it wants to spread the idea that Muslims are the attackers here and Hindus are the victims.

The hate mongering leaders of the BJP are happily increasing the Hindu-Muslim divide and spreading hatred. For example, even after the riots- for instance Tejendar Bagga, a bjp leader has begun crowd funding for Hindu victims that money should be donated as they would help the ones killed in the riots , but they would only help the Hindus, they would not help the Muslims and this is how they are subconsciously creating a divide between Hindu-Muslims.

We all wonder why the BJP is doing this? why is it creating these divides again and again? The answer to this lies sin a 2014 study of yale which states that whenever communal riots happen and there is a fight amongst Hindus and Muslims then the vote share of parties like BJP increase.

Infact after every riot, the vote share of BJP increased by 0.8%.

The Solution Is In You:
If there is a beacon of hope in such an environment, then it lies in you, in common public.
During the Delhi riots, there were a lot of instance in which Hindus, Muslims and sikhs all came together for each others protection. For example,

  • A human chain was formed around a school in Yamuna Vihar to protect the children going to school.
  • The Gurudwaras in Delhi remained open for all, the riot victims were offered free food and shelter
  • The Hindu and Sikhs came together in the Ramesh park area and offered protection to Muslim local so that no harm was able to reach them
  • Local Muslims in old Mustafad stood guard around a shiv temple to prevent the rioters from attacking the temple.
  • Similarly, in majpur in a locality named Bajrang Bali, the Hindu kept the Muslims hidden inside the temple and kept them safe to prevent the rioters from killing them.
  • Nargis Nasreen, a student of government school in Northeast Delhi, cracked the CBSE 12th board exams scoring 62% marks despite losing her home and all her books in February 2020 Delhi riots.
We shifted to a rented place. My parents arranged new books through an NGO. But, our exams were first postponed and later cancelled due to coronavirus induced lockdown, Nargis told reporters. It was very difficult to study under these situations. I was confident of clearing the exams. But, scoring over 60% marks is unbelievable, she said commenting on her success story.
Numerous such tales were heard from a lot of region in Delhi and from the people of Delhi.

When we promote unity and humanity in the country together only then peace will prevail within the country and the country can progress. and only then can the forces that seek to divide the nation and antagonize the people along the lines of faith only then can they be defeated.

The Kerala government has filed the suit under Article 131 of the Indian Constitution.

This is the first time a state has approached the apex court against the CAA.

In what is being seen as a fight between the Left government and the Centre, CM Vijayan has been vocal about the unconstitutional Citizenship Act and has been insistent that the need of the hour is a united fight against the CAA.

Industries Minister EP Jayarajan said, The act is meant to take the country to fascism. By implementing it the government is trying to implement the agenda of RSS. It will be strongly opposed by those who believe in democracy.

He wrote a letter that the need of the hour was unity among all Indians who wish to protect and preserve our cherished values of democracy and secularism.

In the late 1980s, noted anthropologist T.N. Madan had made a provocative statement. He said secularism was unsuitable for India as a political ideology, as a generally shared credo of life, as a basis for state action, and as a blueprint for the foreseeable future. He was convinced that secularism needs to be put in its place. As protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act rage across India, Madans views must be re-examined – particularly because the crisis of secular politics seems to have reached its nadir.

By arguing against secularism, Madan was not building a case for the Hindu Rashtra, but objecting to the foreignness of the idea of secularism. It is also important to re-open this debate especially because of the lopsided manner in which Indian intellectuals are using the secularism argument to challenge the CAA.

These liberal intellectuals have exhibited a surprising lack of empathy for the people the Act is meant to benefit. Instead, from the beginning, the protests have been about who has been excluded and about labeling the law anti-Muslim.

We live in a political moment where everything that we say has to come with a disclaimer or a caveat that protects us from getting into trouble. It is a time when the intelligentsia of society has appropriated the sole monopoly on truth, decided it with certitude, with little space for any nuance. Unless we resuscitate an idiom that resonates with a fairer and more nuanced expression of equality, true secularism that makes sense in the Indian context will continue to evade us.


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Written By: Diya Mehta - 3rd Year, BBA LLB Student, Karnavati University

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