File image of BJP leader Kapil Mishra
File image of BJP leader Kapil Mishra | Photo: ANI
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What sets the Delhi riots of February 2020 apart from a rather rich history of riots in India is that there is not even the pretence of an investigation against those whose speeches openly incited violence.

Until now, we used to see a farcical process of investigation and fact-finding after political violence. After the 2002 Gujarat violence, there was Nanavati-Mehta Commission of inquiry. There was Liberhan Commission after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. The people accused of the demolition are being charged even today. Though it is just a matter of time before we conclude that nobody demolished the Babri Masjid and nobody took to rioting thereafter.

The Gujarat administration, under then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, pursued some cases, and even got some convictions for the violence against Muslims in 2002. Similarly, there have been some convictions in the 1984 anti-Sikh violence. The politicians accused of leading the violence were let off, but they did face charges, FIRs, trials, and so on. Such investigations and enquiries are often pursued half-heartedly by the prosecution to make sure the person is not convicted.

But with the Delhi riots, we see a paradigm shift in impunity. Those who incited violence are not even facing an FIR, while human rights activists who opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are being put in jail.


Also read: Umar Khalid’s arrest shows the future of dissent in India only gets darker from here


‘We won’t listen even to you’

Main aap sab ke behalf pe ye baat keh raha hoon. Trump ke jaane tak to hum shanti se ja rahein hain. Lekin uske baad hum aapki bhi nahi sunenge agar raaste khali nahi huey to. (I’m saying this on behalf of all of you. We will walk along peacefully until Trump returns. After that, we won’t even listen to you if the roads are not vacated.”) These words of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra were heard by everyone. They leave nothing to the imagination about what led to the riots.

A report by the Delhi Minorities Commission found that “violence started in different pockets almost immediately after the short speech of Shri Kapil Mishra on 23 February, 2020 at Maujpur in which he openly called for forcefully removing the protestors at Jafrabad in North East Delhi.”


Also read: In Modi’s India, Umar Khalid preaches peace but is called a ‘terrorist’: Jignesh Mevani


We haven’t seen the speech

When asked about Kapil Mishra’s speech, the Delhi Police told the Delhi High Court in February that they hadn’t seen it. This, when the words above were addressed to the Delhi Police officials. Kapil Mishra threatened violence and threatened to disobey Delhi Police on their face, and there isn’t even a showpiece FIR against him. Instead, he has been given Y+ security, a brazen way of suggesting that the government of the day endorses his actions.

There are eyewitness accounts suggesting a direct role of Kapil Mishra in the riots, not to speak of the ‘co-incidence’ of riots breaking out the day after Mishra’s speech threatening to forcefully remove the anti-CAA protesters.

Most victims of the Delhi riots, in terms of lives lost, injuries, loot and damage to property, are Muslim. This riot took place to end the peaceful, patriotic, Constitutional protests against a draconian law that could still lead to stripping many Indian Muslims of their citizenship, when applied in the ‘chronological’ order suggested by Home Minister Amit Shah.

For such anti-Muslim and anti-democratic riots, what is the Delhi Police’s concern? They are concerned about “Hindu resentment”. The false allegations against anti-CAA protestors that their speeches, asking for peace and hailing the Constitution, led to the Delhi riots, are doing exactly what the riots did: punishing those who dared to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act.


Also read: Umar Khalid not alone, 7 more students were arrested under anti-terror law for Delhi riots


This is Hindu Rashtra

Along with Kapil Mishra, two other BJP leaders made hate speeches preceding the riots. One was Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur, and the other was Delhi BJP leader Parvesh Varma. They, too, face not even an FIR. A plea before the courts to order FIRs against them was dismissed because such action, the court felt, needed the Narendra Modi government’s sanction.

This impunity for riot-mongers tells you how far India has come. Justice should be blind to one’s religion, ideology or political affiliation. But justice depends on the investigation, and yeh, Delhi riots investigation by the Delhi Police is a witch-hunt against the victims.

The Delhi Police’s own role in the riots is also shameful. They not only looked the other way in many instances but are accused of committing violence themselves. We have all seen how the police was going around breaking CCTV cameras. What evidence did they want to hide?

We don’t even pretend anymore that we are a Constitutional democracy which practices equality, rule of law, non-discrimination and such. This is what Hindu Rashtra looks like.

The author is contributing editor, ThePrint. Views are personal.

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31 Comments Share Your Views

31 COMMENTS

  1. I can only say this piece of article is malicious and mischievous. The journalists like this gentleman are actually isolating Muslims from Hindu society. That’s why now Hindus are realising the agenda behind such fake stories. The main reason for failure of Congress party is excessive appeasement of particular community. This is totally one sided story. It is nothing but provocation.

  2. Can anyone, especially ardent supporters of BJP, please explain why what Kapil Misra, Anurag Thakur and Verma said is not divisive? We can discuss the ruling party’s dislike for Shivam Vij later. All things end and it only a question of time when all these people will be shorn off their Y+ securities and they will have no place to hide from the public’s angst.

  3. Initially this regime came to power promising jobs and prosperity for all – Sabka saath sabka vikas. Now of course they have to resort to riots, obfuscation of data, distraction of gullible people and taking recourse of besmirching the name of a great religion and great army to remain in power. There isn’t even a pretence of caring for people’s concerns, their jobs, or their well-being. Only power matters – by hook or crook. I feel sorry for the RSS and it’s genuine supporters. Like Yudhistra their chariot wheels too have touched the ground.

  4. And using the author’s logic Nazi Germans were innocent in WW2 as they suffered maximum casualties even more than Jews. Just like muslims in Delhi riots. Slow clap for this genius logic. I am happy to see Indian left in these safe hands. Right wing will rule for next 5 decades.

    • These people of the right wing are cursed. Now by the left wing or secular but by the 20 million migrants who walked hundreds of km because we elected an uneducated leader. This curse will surely rain down on all of us for the next 2 to 3 generations at least. Gautam Sharma: be afraid. Be very afraid. The curse of God is coming down on you.

  5. Because Modi won an electoral majority, he has become our Baap. And whatever baap does, should be acceptable to all of us. Even if it destroys our lives as brings us on streets.
    BTW, even hitler got electoral majority. Just saying.

  6. Read Kapil Mishra’s statement again and again. Watched the video. Tried hard to find fault in that. Totally failed to do so.

    Kapil Mishra was not speaking in a rally. He was talking to a policeman. All he was saying: please do not allow any further roadblocks. Otherwise, after Trump visit, he also will block roads. Where and who did he threaten? Can anyone play the threatening piece?

    This is bullshit in the garb of journalism. Shekhar Jee, when you seek our support for your kind of journalism, you sure do not include this journalism. Do you? At best he is an islamicsecular, a rabblle rouser masquerading as a journalist.

  7. You vindictive hatemonger, what did Harsh Mandar say ? He openly said that they will not get justice through courts but will have to wage war on the streets. What did Sonia Gandhi say. Aar par ki laadai. What did Mani ShankR aiyyar of congress say. He was openly instigating muslims to riot. And why are you openly lying that CAA is against Indian muslims. This is a blatant and shameless lie. Please read CAA before you spread your hate and bile.

  8. “We don’t even pretend anymore that we are a Constitutional democracy”, that’s perhaps you have realized tht you are not a Constitutional democracy! Let alone a Constitutional democracy, ask yourself whether you are even a country!

  9. The outrageous harassment of the ordinary citizen by the protesters that blocked common roads are fundamental to democracy?? The calling out of this harassment is provocation for riots?? Can the CAA protesters name exactly one single citizens of India who has lost his citizenship because of this CAA Law?? What the human rights activist actually where doing was mobilizing Minority thugs to obstruct and harass ordinary citizens. Kapil Mishra actually did us a favor and called out this harassment of ordinary citizen in the name of democracy.

    • Sham on u…..economy Puri barbad Kar de …social harmony to tum logo be ancient time a he barbad ke the ….u people still refuse to see the truth ….ur hatred is consuming u….

    • dear Rufus ” bhao waow”. Do you even know that the roads were free for traffic and movement of people and that the police actually wanted an illegal act like the violence that happened during the riots. This is the new India. The CAA question which you ask is rhetorical. The law is not in effect because the government has already broken the bank due to stupid decisions like Demonisation and the poor implementation of the new tax elements. They have also robbed the citizens through various subterfuge and we have now the HAND OF GOD. Surely there will be an aftereffects of all these curses being showered on the people who support these people.

  10. The Congress (friend of China) is reduced to hiring this part time do kaude ka journalist to make pathetic & weak arguments on their behalf.

    • thank God we were friends of `china. Otherwise, large parts of North India would be PART OF CHINA. Now we are shitting bricks and there is no one to turn to so Putin has been approached. Why does Bloomberg have to report the news about Tibetan special forces playmg games on our borders and the indian news channel pretend that Kangana is going to change everything. PRITOSH AB AAYEGA MAZAA. Keep gomtra read for drowning. May save you

  11. Congress party people like shivim Vihar ready to give their daughters to Their Slavic Jihadists , in return for money and power , see the way he is call g anti CAA protest , patriots , peaceful Lol , this f Hindus and Sikhs are not allowed to India , do you expect them to die in Pakistan or convert to Islam .

  12. Two fascist Amit shah and Narendra Modi is just destroying India and its secularism. Gradually and consistently BJP has destroyed all the institutions including, Police, CBI, Election Commission and Supreme Court. There is no one to stop them from using these institutions to kill any opposition.

    God help us.

  13. The author is back doing what he does best. Promoting falsehoods as facts and vilifying Hindus and Hinduism.
    Begone you pest. India is tired of your ilk.

  14. Now everyone come and bark at Shivam Vij as he says a little bit of truth, BARK BARK BARK!
    AND LEAVE ALL THESE IMPORTANT ISSUES WE HAVE TO FACE IN INDIA AND GO FUCKING WATCH REPUBLIC TV, FIND OUT WHATS HAPPENING WITH SSR, RHEA AND KANGNA,.

    • Terming falsehood & propaganda as a truth is what libtards are good at. You guys can cry as much as you want. But I’m sure terrorists & rioters like Tahir & Umar will be hunted down every now & then. Gone are the days when your left-Con ecosystem ruled the nation with brazen shamelessness. We will not rest till each one of you is sent to the hell.

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