Press Statements

Notice to Delhi Police on mosque vandalism amid lockdown and random arrests of Muslims involved in CAA-NRC protests

New Delhi, 4 April 2020: Delhi Minorities Commission has issued two notice to the Police Commissioner Delhi. The first notice sent on 3 April said that the Commission is getting reports via emails, whatsapp messages and phone calls from the North-East district since even before the lockdown that police is arresting young Muslim boys by their dozens every single day.This has continued under the lockdown. At 8 pm on 2 April 2020, Muslim women in Mustafabad came out protesting against this objectionable and dubious activity. The notice further said that earlier too the Commission had brought to the notice of DCP North East that the trend of randomly arresting young Muslim boys of the North-East district is not acceptable.

The notice also brought to the notice of the CP the serious allegation made by some people of the North East district that some police officers are using arrests as a pretext to extract huge sums of money as bribes or ransom money which, if paid, will ensure the freedom of the arrested youth.

The notice asked the CP to instruct police ground staff to desist from random arrests in the North East district as arrests must only be made when there is a clear evidence about someone’s involvement in a punishable crime. The notice further said that once lockdown is lifted and conditions return to normal, “we will take a closer look at these arrests.”

The notice also said that the Commission is getting complaints that mosques are being prohibited from using loudspeakers for azaan. As of now, under the current restrictions, a maximum of four persons are allowed to offer congregational prayers at a time in a mosque. The notice said that “loudspeakers are used by mosques to announce that the time of prayer has come so that people may pray at home on time as there is a prescribed time for each prayer. Hence, prohibition of azaan on loudspeakers has no rationale or need. SHOs should be clearly told not to insist on prohibition of use of loudspeakers for azaan and should take action only if more than four persons gather for performing namaz while the current lockdown is effective.”

The notice also said that meat shops in some areas have been closed down which is against the lockdown regime which considers food stuff as part of essentials and shops selling such stuff cannot and must not be closed.

In a second notice sent on 4 April the Commission said that it has received a report and a video which says that at around 8 pm in the night of 3 April 2020, around 200 people attacked a mosque in village Mukhmelpur under Alipur police station in North West Delhi while there were 2-3 persons inside. The mob attacked the mosque, ransacked it, burnt it partially and demolished some of its parts including the roof. The notice further said that it is unbelievable that this could happen in the national capital. The issue cannot be patched up artificially by arranging a compromise where a religious place has been ransacked and partially burnt and demolished. If no proper legal action is taken, this lawlessness will become common.

The notice asked CP to ensure that an FIR is lodged against the culprits and that law should take its course so that a deterrent is created in the minds of people as some have started to think that they will go scot-free after any crime against weaker sections like Muslims, Christians, Dalits and Adivasis.

The two videos mentioned in the report may be seen here: