Skip to main content

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Chand Bagh: February 27
Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.
An eyewitness report prepared by Farah Naqvi, Sarojini N, Navsharan Singh, and Naveen Chander, it says, "Everywhere we heard accounts of the police facilitating mobs. In one place as a police platoon arrived in police jeeps, we saw people run in the opposite direction. It is a force to be feared."
"We also heard anger at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for not being there, on the ground to stand with victims and vulnerable communities", the report says.

Text:

This visit was intended to give us a sense of what this man-made tragedy has meant inside affected mohallas, and what survivors need most urgently; so that we can put our collective might behind pressure on the government and administration, and also mobilize civil society and citizens across all divides, to reach out and help heal our beloved city.

Main observations

We witnessed a human tragedy of enormous proportions, and feel the reports coming out have not done justice to the extent of the violence and its cost in terms of the emotional, psychological, and economic damage to survivors in Delhi. According to reports the death toll is currently up to 42. And those who have lived through this targeted hate, have lost their sense of security, peace and well-being. It will take years to rebuild these neighbourhoods.
The targeting of Muslims in North East Delhi reminded one distinctly of the targeting of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984 and of Muslims in Gujarat 2002. The death toll is far less, but the targeting is truly frightening -- where one shop is burnt, but the two adjacent shops on either side are not. Roadside mazars are burnt, masjids in the interiors are burnt.
Burnt Mazar on Main Wazirabad Road
Our taxi driver, a 66 year old Sikh, was deeply pained at what he saw. He said the sight of these burnt buildings, motorbikes, cars and tyres really hurt him because it reminded him of 1984. He was proud of the fact that Gurudwaras across Delhi have opened their arms for all victims. We were also proud.
People – men and women - we met had tears and anger in their eyes. They have been rendered helpless, homeless and with no means of livelihood. Fear is everywhere – as we spoke to a group of young men on the road that divides Khajuri Khas and Chand Bagh, elderly residents came out and pleaded with us to move to safer inner lanes, because just 48 hours ago they had been at the receiving end of bullets fired from Bhajanpura, across the main road.
Men gathered around us, desperate for someone to bear witness. They showed us videos they had taken of the attack. One man in Mustafabad, trembling with emotion and colour rising on his face, kept telling us again and again of how they burnt his mosque and repeated many times, how safe ‘we’ have kept the temples in our neighbourhoods. Come and see them, he kept repeating.
The targeted damage to property and means of livelihood for people who live on the edge of survival is truly vile. Thelas burnt, small shops burnt, autorickshaws burnt, e-rickshaws burnt, a scrap market burnt. These are means of livelihood for some of India’s poorest people.
The targeting is clearly and unambiguously focussed on Muslims. Hindus have also been hit and suffered damage. In Brijpuri, there was a damage to the houses. Shops and banquet halls were burnt. In Gokulpuri we saw burnt autorickshaws belonging to Hindus.
Targeting is truly frightening -- where one shop is burnt, two adjacent shops on either side are not. Roadside mazars are burnt, masjids in the interiors are burnt
In one case that we encountered, the attack on Hindu properties was by right-wing mobs themselves. An autorickshaw owner/driver, on the main road outside Gokulpuri flailed helplessly but angrily at the injustice of what happened to him – two of his autorickshaws which he proudly pointed out say ‘Jai Mata Di’ on the back, were burnt because in one of them he was ferrying Muslim passengers and the mob probably thought he was Muslim too. 
I am a Hindu! he kept saying. Even as he told us his story, his current passenger load consisted of one Hindu and two Muslim women in hijab. And even as he got out of his auto to tell us his tale, he simultaneously asked his two Muslim women passengers to stay back in the auto because, ‘time theek nahin hai’ (this is not a safe time).
AAP office in Mustafabad: Shutters down
All shop shutters in these areas are down. Nothing open. There are pockets of men on the streets, who emerge from narrow lanes, and go back when the police comes. One small kirana shop on the Mustafabad main street opened while we were there. It’s owner, a Hindu and his wife both said they were frightened, but said they trusted their Muslim neighbours, but not the police. He called the police number more times than he could count. He tried to show his phone to count his calls. He pointed to the CPRF jawan standing outside his store – and said this is why I have had the courage to open for a short while today.
We saw many journalists on the main shopping street of Mustafabad. The largest crowd of journalists was near the tri-junction of Shiv Vihar, Mahalaxmi Enclave and Babunagar (Mustafabad) where Hindu-Muslim populations meet, and there has been a lot of damage to Hindu shops and properties.

Government and police

Across the board, among Muslims and Hindus, there is enormous fury at the Delhi Police for just not being there when they were needed. People simply do not understand why? We heard repeatedly of frantic calls to the 100 line that went unanswered, for 48-72 hours.
Everywhere we heard accounts of the police facilitating mobs. In one place as a police platoon arrived in police jeeps, we saw people run in the opposite direction. It is a force to be feared. There is zero trust.
We also heard anger at the AAP government for not being there, on the ground to stand with victims and vulnerable communities.
“Matlab bharosa jeeta aur uske bad gira diya. Ghar ghar vote manga. Samajh lo - ek to white hai, aur ek kala hai. Kale wale ka samajh aata hai ki haan woh kaala hai! Ab white wala, kala kaam kar raha hai.” [verbatim as recorded in Chand Bagh]
In Mustafabad people were angry and said the central government was busy with the Trump visit instead of ensuring early deployment of army or police, which would have saved lives and protected their properties.
Even after the attack, no one from the state or central government has reached out to victims. And it has been nearly 4 days now, to the first attack on Sunday (Feb 23). There was NO relief effort. No food, no places for the displaced to stay, no one to call. At Chand Bagh, we were asked if we could arrange food for 200 families of labourers being accommodated in a masjid.
Forced displacement from Chand Bagh: Family fleeing to West Bengal
We saw the RAF arrive in Chand Bagh. We also saw CRPF, BSF and ITBF jawans stationed or patrolling in large numbers in Mustafabad and in Gokulpuri. They told us they had arrived just yesterday evening (Feb 26).
We witnessed a BSF flag march close to sunset through the narrow lanes of Bhagirathi Vihar, a neighbourhood in Mustafabad, with a loudspeaker asking people to get off the streets and go home, but just behind the marching jawans were sloganeers shouting - Bharat Mata Ki Jai, CAA Zindabad, and NRC Zindabad. No one stopped the sloganeers.

Internal displacement of India’s poor

We witnessed in several places we visited (Chand Bagh, Mustafabad, Wazirabad Main Road) entire Muslim families, with children, walking rapidly on the road with their modest belongings tied up in bundles. In two families the main bread earners were daily wagers who have lived here in rented accommodation for the past 3-4 years. They were returning to their villages, in Bihar and in Bengal.
The family from Bengal was going back to their village in Islampur (Uttar Dinajpur District). They said they were scared and their families back home were frantic that they would be labelled Bangladeshis. One family in Mustafabad was packed and standing on the road – the man told us he was taking his family back to Bareilly and he would return alone later.
Another family, clearly very poor, with rag-tag bundles on their heads or slung on their arms, women carrying small babies, were moving out of Chand Bagh to a relative’s home in the Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi. They felt that was safer.
In another neighbourhood, thousands of Muslims were forced to flee from Shiv Vihar, which has a mixed population. They are now being accommodated in shelters in the adjacent neighbourhoods of Chaman Park and Mustafabad, which are Muslim majority. We did not go inside Shiv Vihar but were told of both mosques burnt, many homes burnt and dead bodies.
In each place – Chand Bagh and Shiv Vihar – the figures of the displaced were given in the thousands (3,000 – 5,000 rough estimate by people we spoke to). We were also shown a photograph of Yusuf, missing from Gali # 14 in new Mustafabad (Chand Bagh area) for the past three days. No one knows where. We estimate there has been massive internal displacement – the full extent needs to be urgently determined.

Comments

truthaboutislam said…
The religion of peace named Islam is one among the mightiest religion in this world. And also the one that is misunderstood a lot for several reasons. Be it a propaganda of political or of economical unfolded at all times. Our mission is to spread truth about islam by clearing entire misconceptions and to disseminate virtuous good deeds that the Muslims actually practice.

TRENDING

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

'Bird, take me flying with you too!' Being Devangana Kalita

By Ashley Tellis*  I first met Devangana Kalita in a first year English Honours classroom in which I entered to teach Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in Miranda House, Delhi University, in 2008. She was one of the smartest students in the class – Devangana smiled the most and had the brightest twinkle in her eyes of the girls in the class. A middle class girl – Kalita comes from a family in upper Assam, the Kalitas along with the Brahmins dominate Assam (the Bamon-Kolita nexus as it is called) – in an elite all women’s institution known for a feminist, rebellious history. Like all institutions, it was repressive; like all all-women institutions, particularly so. But Miranda House had met its match in Devangana. She organised, protested, all within the democratic tradition resisted. The seeds of Pinjra Tod, the group Devangana was to eventually co-found, and which now finds her jailed for as absurd a reason as inciting a ‘riot’ were already sown in that first year. By the third year, they

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.