N-E Delhi riots: Chat group used to identify targets, mobilise resources
The transcripts from 'Kattar Hindut Ekta' group show how Hindu rioters planned their attacks and point to the possibility of a third group chat
New Delhi: While the Delhi Police have said that the WhatsApp chat transcripts from the "Kattar Hindut Ekta" Group are "clearly extrajudicial confessions", a careful analysis of the messages posted in the group gives insight into how Hindu rioters had used the medium to identify targets, organise and mobilise resources (read: men and weapons) and finally boasted about burning mosques, madrassas and killing and thrashing Muslims.
The phone number identified by Delhi Police as belonging to Lokesh Solanki, the prime accused in multiple chargesheets filed by it, on February 25 around 11 pm said, "Kal Puri Raat Mai bhagirathi vihar Ganga Vihar Gokul Puri Jhoripur In sab jgha ghuma Hu Or 23 mullao k sir fade hai (Last night I roamed around Bhagirathi Vihar, Ganga Vihar, Gokulpuri, Jhoripur and smashed the heads of 23 Muslims)."
While messages like these have been earlier reported by Millennium Post from transcripts of both the "Hindu EKTA group" and "Kattar Hindut Ekta" group, the transcripts suggest that the group was meant to be used as a place to consolidate efforts of "Hindu brothers" against Muslims during the February riots in North-East Delhi. Several instances have emerged of group members posting meeting points for "badi Hindu ekta" in the area and asking others to join them.
On February 25, around 7 am, a member said, "jai shriram raat boot badiya kaam hua hsj (Hail Lord Ram, Last night we did some great work)." The member then goes on to say that all brothers are set to meet in Johripur at 10 later in the day. Moreover, many instances of what seemed like instructions were also observed. Hours later, another member posted in the group, "Gokalpuri Kii markett jala de (Burn the Gokalpuri market)."
Significantly, group members also used location services on the chatting application to mobilise resources. On February 25, users sent their GPS locations, asking for more men to join them The transcripts show an almost minute-by-minute account of one clash between Hindus and Muslims on February 25.
On the same day, another member posted that he had "caught hold of a Muslim" near his house and said, "Bhagirathi vihar m baut mara sar afd fad diya (I beat him up badly in Bhagirathi Vihar, smashed his head)." Later that night, group members also purportedly planned and disconnected electricity in an area of North-East Delhi. "Bhai light band kr Di yaha ki (Brother, cut the lights here)," said one member, to which another promptly replied, "Kat di (I've cut it)" and the instructor then said, "Andhera h bhai sb Hindu bhai tayar h Flash jalakr (It's dark now, all Hindu brothers are ready with flashlights)."
In another instance, on February 26, a member posted in the group, "bhai suno aaj sare Bhai taiyaar rho aaj shaam ko fatima maszid pr hamla krna hai 11 number me (Brothers, listen, get ready for today evening we will go and attack Fatima Masjid in lane number 11)." To this, another member said, "Haan bhai us gali m mulla jada tej chal thy h bhos**k (Yes brother, Muslims there seem to be very confident, expletive)."
Many a time, when users posted information not related to real-time riot developments, group members kept reiterating that this group chat was not for "wasting time" but to coordinate efforts. As for calling for more men to riot-affected areas, there are multiple messages featuring organisations such as the Bajrang Dal, Hindu Raksha Dal and other right-wing fringe extremist groups.
Furthermore, group members in the "Kattar Hindut Ekta" group were also seen discussing installing idols of Hindu gods inside madrassas that they had allegedly vandalised. One member is seen saying on February 25 around 9:45 pm, "jo hmne aaj 11 numbr me madrasa toda kl subeh 10be sbhi ek ho kr aayw or usme kl ek murti vishthapit krni hai (I urge all to come together tomorrow at 10 am to the madrassa we broke in number 11 and establish an idol there)." To this, another member said, "salo ki jgh pr kabza kro ab (Let's occupy their places)."
Interestingly, while the Delhi Police is yet to track the creator of this WhatsApp chat and has identified at least as many as 15 members, it has said that there were at one point 125 members in this group. Moreover, from disclosures made in the chat group, many were cautious of people they did not personally know getting added. One member can be seen posting on February 26, "Bhai jitne bhi Bhai is grp mehai vo sbhi personally ek dusre ko jante hai na (Brother, I hope everyone added in this group known each other personally)." He added that no one should be adding people they did not know personally, at which point another member said, "Hmm bhai."
And now that the existence of another such group has also been revealed through Delhi Police documents submitted in court, this chat group also reveals a third WhatsApp group, a link to which was posted on Kattar Hindut Ekta around 10:30 pm on February 26. One member had posted a message with the link to join a WhatsApp group by the name of "jai shree RAM".