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

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

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.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.