N-E Delhi riots: Minorities Commission blames BJP leaders for inciting violence

new delhi: The Delhi Minorities Commission on Thursday released its fact-finding report on the north-east Delhi riots, alleging that BJP leaders had in a number of speeches from December 2019 to February 2020, throughout the campaign for the Delhi Assembly elections, "incited people to violence against anti-CAA protesters".

The report also presented damning allegations against the Delhi Police in the form of testimonies from victims, which accused the police of "complicity and abetment".

Delhi Police Additional PRO, Anil Mittal said, "We have not received any report from the Delhi Minorities Commission so far." The police said they have a robust public grievance redressal system. They had also launched helpline numbers in this regard for those who want to lodge their complaints or to address their issues of concern.

The 130-page fact-finding report was released at the DMC office here by the chairman of the Commission, Zafarul Islam Khan, and MR Shamshad who headed the 10-member fact-finding committee and has already submitted to Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

It said that the testimonies from victims revealed that the violence was not spontaneous or reactionary like a riot. "It was planned, organised and targetted," the report said, adding that violence broke out in north-east Delhi "almost immediately after the instigating speech of Shri Kapil Mishra on February 23 at Maujpur in which he openly called for forcefully removing the protesters at Jafrabad".

The report also said that armed mobs took to different pockets in the north-east district and "selectively attacked Muslim individuals, houses, shops, vehicles, mosques and other properties". The committee said testimonies showed while the mobs had outsiders, several were locals whom victims could identify.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana denounced the report. "This is a political report. Does it mention councillor Tahir Hussain who is in jail in connection with the riots?" he asked. Stressing that the police have said that BJP leaders had no role in the riots, Khurana accused the minorities commission of levelling baseless allegations against the saffron party.

"They should respect the law and let it take its own course," Khurana said.

"Throughout the Delhi Assembly elections campaign from December 2019 to February 2020, there were a number of speeches by Delhi BJP leaders inciting people to violence against anti-CAA protesters, " a DMC statement said.

While the report said Delhi Police had in some cases escorted victims to safety, a lot of victims claimed that cops "merely stood as onlookers" as mobs engaged in looting, violence and arson. The report also said that police officers, in some cases, did not exercise powers to disperse unlawful assemblies or take measures to apprehend, arrest and detain those perpetrating the violence.

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