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Millennium Post

Probing on priority

Probing   on priority

If communal violence that shocked the national capital last week was possibly the lowest moment we could witness in recent times, then reluctance to earnestly discuss and probe it takes it further down. While violence has fortunately curbed as society takes note of damages done and lives lost, the Central government doesn't seem too keen on discussing the horrific episode. 46 people perished with around 200 injured, petrifying accounts of mob violence drawn on communal lines and massive public property damaged, but the Centre seemed reluctant to prioritise a discussion over the same. The three days of Parliament have likely seen ruckus over a visibly agitated opposition forcing repeated adjournments on account of intentional disruptions. Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla's remark that the matter of Delhi violence will be taken up for discussion after Holi is outrageous. It is difficult to fathom his predicament, or rather the Centre's, in choosing to not discuss a matter that may seem most important in the wake of last week's riots. Justice S Muralidhar's subsequent transfer following his stern scrutiny of the Delhi Police over professional failures has already raised questions, especially when what he denied Delhi Police — more time to file FIRs against hate speeches by BJP leaders — was subsequently provided by Delhi Chief Justice's bench the very next day. The latter bench posted the matter to April 13, giving the Delhi Police six weeks to come up with a decision whether to book BJP leaders accused of hate speeches or not. But Supreme Court, in a separate hearing yesterday, acknowledged the unjustified period given to the Delhi Police regarding the same concern and urged the Delhi High Court to hear petitions related to violence, including those of hate speeches by BJP leaders, on Friday. Supreme Court's acknowledgement of the long adjournment and subsequent proposal to the High Court to expedite the proceeding should help in treading a trajectory that, anyway, should have been done. Not just FIRs against the leaders but a comprehensive probe into Delhi violence, and not by Delhi Police, will greatly serve the pursuit for justice. Being an independent organ, while the Judiciary does its work, it is also important for the Executive and the Legislature to rise to the occasion. Parliament's Budget session recommenced on March 2 but has witnessed continuous disruptions only because of reluctance in discussing the pressing matter of violence. When disturbing allegations of the violence being brought to the north-east Delhi by outsiders exist, neither the executive nor the legislature should postpone deliberations over the same. It is a priority. In the assessment report prepared by the Delhi Minorities Commission, it was summarised that the violence was one-sided and well planned. The report cites that maximum damage was done to shops and houses belonging to the minority community. While a fact-finding committee will come out with clarified accounts of the same, this report and the arising allegations deserve immediate attention. Not just domestically but also on the global scale, the Delhi violence has attracted a lot of criticism for the Central government. It is all the more necessary to probe the incident with complete efficacy and make serious efforts to punish the offenders, no matter their number, position or influence.

Delhi government's rehabilitation efforts for the violence-affected people is laudable. It has released Rs 38.75 lakh as compensation so far in the riot-hit areas. The amount should give a hint of the damage inflicted in the area. The damage, as well as the lives lost, should together make up for the necessity to earnestly deal with the matter. We cannot be sitting ducks. Already, not filing FIRs against hate speeches has been a setback for the Police. Discussion over the same in the judiciary has been agonising. Stern action on the state's part is where India will both, deal appropriately with the wrongs and send out a strong message of deterrence. We anyway see the infamous chant by one of the BJP leaders being popularised with repeated instances of the same slogan being found. Such sloganeering and polarisation of the populace is not a very healthy remark of a society. It portrays degenerative aspects. We cannot stoop so low that we wish to see our fellow countrymen dead over his/her views on a subject. Intolerance towards dissent is the outright death of democracy. There is a lot that an efficient coherence between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary can achieve. Good governance is not just a plethora of prudent schemes for citizens, it is the flawless functioning of the government in all aspects. And, law and order in a society is an integral part of the same.

(Image from business-standard.com)

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