Delhi Violence: Press statement by Concerned Citizens; demand court monitored enquiry
We deeply mourn the loss of lives in the recent violence in North East Delhi. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured.
The current pattern of violence and the government’s attitude bears a distinct resemblance to 1984 and 2002. The home minister of India is directly responsible for law and order in Delhi. He has been a spectacular failure in discharging his basic duties and we demand that he resign immediately.
We are also appalled at the gross failure of the Delhi Police to pre-empt and prevent the spread of violence. In many instances, as is evident from multiple videos and reports by journalists, the Delhi Police was not only a mute spectator but rather played a partisan role siding with the rioters.
The government and the Delhi police have failed in acting against those giving inflammatory speeches and inciting violence against a particular community. Had they acted in time much of the ensuing violence and killing could have been prevented. We are deeply disturbed by the fact that not only hate speeches continue unabated, the threatening and provocative tone of important constitutional functionaries, such as CM of UP, Yogi Adityanath, continues to fuel an atmosphere of hate and animosity.
Questions must also be asked of the failure of the IB to report the entry of rioters from areas adjoining Delhi into the Capital. Both communities in North East Delhi have reported that outsiders entered the city and indulged in large scale killing and violence. Gun culture which is alien to Delhi was seen to be prevalent during the violence and led to large number of deaths. It’s clear that unlicensed arms were distributed and used on a large scale. Why did intelligence fail in pre-empting their distribution and use?
We have been getting reports that even now relief and rescue workers are being prevented from entering riot affected areas
We say this with heavy heart that a section of the media, has also contributed in vitiating the atmosphere fuelling hatred because of their strident, chauvinistic portrayal over a sustained period of time.
The brutal violent assaults against those protesting peacefully against CAA/ NPR/ NRC are a gross violation of the basic tenets of democracy. The right to dissent and protest peacefully against a government decision must not be portrayed as anti-national
We strongly demand:
Immediate arrest under stringent penal laws of those spreading hate and inciting violence;
Time bound court monitored enquiry fixing responsibility and accountability;
The government should ensure safe access to relief and medical workers in affected areas;
The centre must provide government jobs to one family member of those killed. The Centre and state governments must adequately compensate for loss of livelihood and property and financial assistance to those injured.
We are encouraged by the manner in which members of both communities have at great risk to themselves shielded and protected other communities during the riot. The government must follow their example. We appeal to all governments across the country to work proactively to prevent communal flare ups in their respective states. We appeal to the people of India to stand up unitedly to defeat the nefarious machinations of divisive forces, and not allow anyone to disturb social peace and communal harmony of our country and society.Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan Mr. Shahid Siddiqui Mr. Kamal Faruqui Mr. Anil Chamadia Mr. Prashant Tandon Mr. Niaz Faruqui Mr. P I Jose Issued at the Press Club of India, 28-Feb-2020