New Delhi: The IPS Association Friday “strongly condemned” an article in The New York Times titled ‘How Delhi’s Police Turned Against Muslims’ for its “biased reporting, dangerous innuendo and outright lies”.
Tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and the Delhi Police on Twitter, the association said the article is “clearly a concerted effort to denigrate and defame Indian Institutions”.
In a separate note, the association said the article alleges that the Delhi Police, police in general and even the Indian judiciary, act on communal lines. “The article makes a laboured attempt to establish this narrative through selective narration of some of the chosen incidents during these riots.”
The article, authored by Jeffrey Gettleman, Sameer Yasir, Suhasini Raj and Hari Kumar, was published Thursday.
‘Indian Police act without fear, favour’
According to the NYT article, there is evidence to show that during the Delhi riots, the police “concertedly moved against Muslims and at times actively helped the Hindu mobs that rampaged in New Delhi in late February, burning down Muslim homes and targeting Muslim families”.
Countering these claims, the IPS Association said the police force is a professional body that performs its duties without fear or favour.
“Our personnel are neither Hindus nor Muslims. They are Indians, serve Indians, and during critical times they have also sacrificed their lives for Indians,” the association said in a series of tweets.
India is governed by law, no one has immunity from killing anyone!
— IPS Association (@IPS_Association) March 13, 2020
In a note separately tweeted by the association, it has said while there might have been a few instances of “individual aberrations” by some policemen, “to portray the riots as a collusive inaction of (an) entire police force is an act of sensationalism”.
“India is governed by Rule of Law and no one has immunity from killing anyone,” it added.
The NYT article argued that while there is a 13 per cent Muslim population in Delhi, the Muslim representation in the Delhi Police force is less than 2 per cent.
According to several studies, Muslim representation across the Indian police has “remained consistently low” at 3 to 4 per cent.
The NYT article also stated that the police culture in India has long been colonial in character.
“India’s policing culture has long been brutal, biased, anti-minority and almost colonial in character, a holdover from the days of British rule when the police had no illusions of serving the public but were used to suppress a restive population,” the article read.
During the riots, it added, there were several instances wherein police officers were caught on video beating and throwing rocks at Muslim protesters and signalling Hindu mobs to join them.
The piece also cites researchers to argue that police “deliberately put too few officers on the streets, with inadequate firepower, as the violence morphed from clashes between rival protesters into targeted killings of Muslims”.
However, the IPS Association countered the statement to say: “It is easy to cast aspersions on Police but here is a reminder that 2 security personnel have lost their lives in the riots and more than 70 were injured. India’s Police forces will keep doing their duty and ensure every Indian is protected.”
Earlier this month, Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati declined an invitation to an event by the BBC, taking exception to its “one-sided” and “without context” coverage of the Delhi riots.
In its reports, the BBC had also claimed that the Delhi Police acted with Hindu rioters to carry out a “wave of attack on Muslims”.