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Who is to blame for CAA violence: Delhi Police or politics of Modi government?

9 people have been killed & 100 injured in northeast Delhi as violence gripped Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur & Gokulpuri Sunday after anti & pro-CAA groups clashed.

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At least nine people have been killed and more than 100 injured in northeast Delhi as violence gripped Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur and Gokulpuri Sunday after anti- and pro-CAA groups clashed. Home Minister Amit Shah met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to review the situation. Kejriwal said that Delhi Police officers couldn’t do “anything because they were not getting orders from their seniors”.

ThePrint asks: Who is to blame for CAA violence: Delhi Police or politics of Modi government?

Delhi Police has appeared rudderless and can be considered responsible for Delhi violence

Neeraj Kumar
Former Delhi police commissioner 

It is clear that a piece of legislation and the politics behind it are responsible for the Delhi violence. Presumably, taking advantage of the offending legislation, people from the opposition parties and those with vested interests are inciting the minority community that has been protesting against it.

The short answer to the question whether the Delhi Police responded to the violence promptly is, unfortunately, in the negative.

The response of the Delhi Police to the escalating violence has been rather tardy, a trait that has been seen consistently in the recent past at Tees Hazari during the lawyer-police clashes, Jamia Millia Islamia University, JNU, Shaheen Bagh and now in the trans-Yamuna area. The Delhi Police, generally adept at dealing with such situations, has appeared rudderless and listless, bereft of any sense of direction and purpose.

Leadership, if any, is conspicuously absent. Men on the ground level don’t know what to do and when, as they are not sure where they would stand if things go wrong. Officers in the field don’t seem to have a free hand. If one goes by TV visuals, the deployment seems unplanned. Large contingents of police force arrive, but there is no one to take charge of them. No attempt has been made towards area domination.

So, by their acts of omission and ineptitude, the Delhi Police could be considered responsible for the large-scale violence in Delhi’s trans-Yamuna area.

Delhi police and ruling party have made mockery of law and order. This is shocking

Maxwell Pereira
Former joint police commissioner, Delhi

The violence that has broken out in the northeast areas of Delhi is absolutely shocking. I am currently out of the country, but having studied the preceding violence that occurred in Jamia and Shaheen Bagh, it is clear that the ruling establishment at the Centre had no business to provoke rival communities in volatile northeast Delhi. Everyone is well aware of what exactly is happening, which groups are triggering violence and how the ruling establishment is pushing its agenda. They have made a mockery of law and order and this is disgusting.

Delhi Police is a professional force. It saddens me as an ex-Delhi Police officer to see how the police is made to push forth the ethical or unethical agenda of the ruling party against its own people. But I believe that the Delhi Police cannot do anything on its own because the home minister is its boss. It is an established fact that no one dares to disobey the home minister and incur his wrath. Whatever the police officers are doing, it is only at the behest of the home ministry. So, if there’s someone who should be held liable for the current chaos in the national capital, it is the central government.

I have sincerely and diligently served in the government for 35 years. I do not want to be anti-establishment, but the situation in Delhi is such that one is bound to be. It can’t get more distressing.

BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s Maujpur visit and tweets encouraged anti-social elements to incite violence

Somnath Bharti
Lawyer and AAP leader

It is not easy to point out the genesis of this violence to one thing. But it is true that these agitations and protests were triggered when the government began discussions around the CAA-NRC-NPR project. The insecurities that were caused because of the CAA were never duly addressed by the BJP. Before the Delhi assembly election, the BJP tried to orient its entire campaign on communal lines. It became a question of Shaheen Bagh supporters vs Shaheen Bagh opposers. The ruling party of the country decided to communalise the election, it must now own up for the violence that is happening.

When BJP leader Kapil Mishra made inflammatory speeches during his visit to Maujpur and also on Twitter, he encouraged those anti-social elements to incite violence. Moreover, a significant chunk of the Delhi Police force was busy in the arrangements for US President Donald Trump’s visit. The hype created around CAA-NRC and the BJP’s inability to resolve people’s queries are also primary reasons for this mayhem.

At this moment, the flames of the violence cannot be doused by doing politics. Everyone needs to come together and think about the way forward. Now is the time to go beyond religion, regionalism, politics and appeal to everyone to restore peace and stability in the capital.

Suspecting Modi govt or Delhi Police for violence is defying logic given high-stakes visit of Trump

Swadesh Singh
Assistant Professor at Delhi University

It is a gross oversimplification to bracket the recent clashes as ‘CAA violence’. It simply reflects the unwillingness to look truth in the face. You cannot fix responsibility unless you begin with cold truth.

Ever since the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in December 2019, protests were being organised at different places across India, especially where Muslims are in a majority. Shaheen Bagh has been used as a symbol of anti-CAA resistance, inspiring similar hotspots. The speeches given at these sites had the mention of JNU, Rohith Vemula, lynching, triple talaq, Ram Temple and Kashmir. The refrain has been that the Narendra Modi government is against Muslims and now is the time to take to the streets. The speech of Sharjeel Imam could be taken as just one example.

These are not self-motivated, independent, sundry outpourings but organised faceless and leaderless protests and riot-like situations handled by some individuals and organisations. Despite the two-month long blockade, the protests have elicited only caution from the government and the court. After Shaheen Bagh did not succeed as a strategy to prove that the government has failed, the handlers of the protests are taking this to the next level.

Suspecting the Modi government or Delhi Police for Delhi violence is defying logic given the high-stakes visit of US President Donald Trump and the mega built up around it. Neither the government nor the ruling party would want a mega party spoiler like this.

Delhi Police under home ministry has become so lax & inefficient that a new model of supervision is needed

Vappala Balachandran
Former special secretary of the cabinet secretariat

The Narendra Modi government and the home ministry are responsible for the law and order situation and police administration in New Delhi through the Lt. Governor. The elected government in the capital has no control whatsoever. So, the ruling establishment is primarily responsible for the breakdown of law and order in parts of northeast Delhi. The BJP also allowed violence to be perpetrated against peaceful anti-CAA protesters and encouraged its political cadre to put the blame on the protesters. This was to show to the outside world that the CAA protesters are anti-national and violent.

That Delhi was allowed to burn even during the visit of US President Donald Trump shows the utter inefficiency of Delhi Police, which did not prevent the riot-like outbreak by taking action such as preventive arrests. The Delhi Police under the home ministry has become so lax and inefficient that a new model of supervision is needed.

The Supreme Court should intervene and appoint a committee to overhaul the supervision of the Delhi Police.

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  1. Responsibility is with Congress. It was Sonia who first cried wolf and asked the crowds to come to the streets. It was after her statement that Jamia took place and Saheenbagh started. If the courts have the guts, they can order her arrest.

  2. The author should have mentioned burning of buses trains cars stone pelting at police by anti CAA protesters without any provocation ( see West Bengal, Aligarh, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Delhi etc.). With all these violent activities and blocking of roads for months on end it was inevitable that there would be a backlash. The political parties ( for vote purposes) further created fears amongst the Muslims by misinformation on CAA has been conveniently omitted even though they themselves advocated NRC earlier e.g. Mamata Banerjee, Manmohan Singh, Chidbaram etc.
    Mr. Kapil Mishra had only asked for the roads to be cleared which should have been done long ago but he is accused of “hate speech” while Akbaruddin Owaisi who had said that 15 crore Muslims could finish 120 crore Hindus is apparently not hate speech and okay with media. It is due to mildness of Hindus that riots did not begin after his comments.

  3. Neither. It is the lefty liberal conspirators who have been egging on the muslims to shutdown Delhi for the past 2 months and for engineering mob violence to coincide with Trump visit.

  4. Nation is experiencing a clash of two philosophy, one engineered by RSS/BJP ideology, which is tentamount to replace the Constitutional values; Constitutional Governance, which enshrined the rights within the Ambit of Constitution. Interestingly, right wing politicians could not answer the joint protest by secular citizens/ intellectuals / organizations! Unfortunately, right wing is pampering its fringe elements to incite to blend this protest with communal colour, because their personal vocabulary do not prompt to resolve economic issues this Nation is experiencing! Sincere efforts to create an atmosphere of confidence all citizens if not gained would lead to frustration amongst the affected parties! Private firing; looting; fire incidents suggest a lack of motive to handle, based on the intelligence failure. Cognizance to Act be taken seriously! Else there is no difference between Gujarat Riots (2002) and 2020 riots in Delhi, pending defeat of BJP in election, which they wanted to punish Muslim Voters!!!

  5. WHO GAINED FROM THE CAA violence ???? Needs to be answered before asking Who is to blame for CAA violence. Only the courts can decide on any dispute. All kinds of things were happening while the decision was pending for decades on the Ram Mandir dispute, but now that the decision has come things have settled.
    Fortunately the country still respects the decisions of the courts and it is for the courts to ensure that the decisions are given quickly to ensure the continuance of that respect whether the decision is in favour or against. The delayed resolution allows the parties to dispute to do undesirable things in the hope of swinging the decision in its favour.
    Wonderful to read the comments from people who were part of RAMRAJYA during their tenuers:
    Delhi Police has appeared rudderless and can be considered responsible for Delhi violence
    Delhi police and ruling party have made mockery of law and order. This is shocking
    Delhi Police under home ministry has become so lax & inefficient that a new model of supervision is needed

  6. The Supreme court should have heard the petitions against CAA on priority but they have other issues like Shaheen bagh on their priority list. PATHETIC.

  7. If the Protesters against CAA cannot protest peacefully, they need to call off their protest. Why are they imposing their views and making the life of the common people difficult?? Most of the media is blaming the victim (the common people) instead of the protest organizers who have shot at and killed a policeman.

  8. Muslims..congress and AAP have to be blamed. Its Rome we clear the ahitty community out of the country. Enough of their crap..I hope Modi and amit Shah place army and fire any Muslim and civilian irrespective if which community he or she is from.and fire them to death on the spot. A y anti social and anti national muslim should pias in his pajama to speak or act against india. No one who goes against the law should be spared now on..all Muslim.leaders should be throwed behind the bars and sent out of thia country if they dont come to terms. They should be deprived of every post and public speaking. Any speech should lead to shoot at sight.

  9. With my poor knowledge of Hindi, cannot decipher whether Amulya means priceless or worthless. The next CP should be chosen with care. A lot rides on his professional competence, including the government’s prestige.

  10. With profound respect and pain, one would flag a third causative factor : the non grant of a stay when a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the CA Act were filed before the honourable apex court. Some of the world’s most respected organisations / institutions have said that the law is discriminatory, violative of conventions on human rights. Had a stay been granted, it would have taken the force, even the rationale, of the countrywide protests that followed. The SC could then have heard the matter at length and delivered its verdict.

    • I agree. Even today the SC is going to discuss the propriety of Shaheen Bagh protests on a road, and not the REASON for those protests. If CA-B so obviously went against the Constitution by discriminating against citizens of one religion, then how could it become CA-A? A stay, if not outright dismissal of CAA was very much in order. SC has been extremely disappointing. Long after Modi and Shah and all of us are dead and gone, when future generations will study this phase of our history very long fingers will be pointed at – – not Adityanath – – but Ravi Shankar Prasad.

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