Delhi Communal Violence:

Those in power are to blame

Two weeks since the communal violence which took place in North East Delhi, those in power are trying their best to hide the truth. Many stories are being spread through the news media and social media, blaming one section of the people or another.  One story is that Muslims are to blame for the violence, that they were armed and killed policemen. Another story is that it was a spontaneous reaction by Hindus to the anti-CAA protests which were blocking traffic in some parts of the city.

The conduct of the police both during and after the violence, and numerous eyewitness accounts including video clips, show that it was not a riot.  It was not spontaneous.  It was sponsored by those who control political power.  It was an act of state terrorism.

According to eyewitnesses, nearly two thousand people with helmets on their heads occupied two schools in Shiv Vihar for 24 hours, using them as the base to attack Muslims in the neighborhood.

Eyewitnesses, including journalists, have pointed out that the Delhi Police either stood by silently or actively joined the armed gangs. Many videos of police actively attacking Muslims have come to light confirming what eyewitnesses have reported. There are videos of police throwing stones at people. There are videos of police brutally beating youth who are already injured and lying on the ground.  They kept beating them mercilessly and demanded that they should sing the National Anthem. One of these youth died as a result of the grievous injuries he sustained.

It is clear that the Delhi Police had instructions to ensure that the Muslims were “taught a lesson”.  They had to be humiliated, beaten up, murdered and looted. The Police Control Rooms received tens of thousands of calls from the victims during those days and nights.  There was no response from the authority to the cries of the people. 

No action has been taken against the politicians of the ruling BJP who openly called for killing Muslims, calling them traitors. The police have refused to file first information reports (FIRs) against such people. Instead, police forces are hounding activists from the Muslim community who dared to defend themselves and their neighbours when the communal attacks took place. The police are now going around showing videos that allegedly prove that they were attacked by Muslims.

It must be noted that on 26th February 2020, a bench of the Delhi High Court, headed by Justice Muralidhar, reprimanded the Delhi police for failing to register FIRs against whosoever had made communal hate speeches and passed an order reminding the Delhi Police of the mandatory requirement for registration of FIRs in the event of the commission of a non-cognisable offence. At midnight the same day, Justice Muralidhar received notice of his transfer to Punjab & Haryana High Court with immediate effect.

Eyewitness accounts confirm that many families, irrespective of their religious beliefs, risked their own safety to provide shelter to those under attack. Some people accommodated as many as 100 people in their homes. A Sikh father and his son rescued more than 70 Muslims, including many children in the neighbourhood, and took them to a safer place. “I just saw people. I saw little children. I felt like they were my children and that nothing should happen to them. We did this because we all should act humanely and help those in need. What more can I say?” he said. The father had witnessed the terrible genocide of Sikhs in 1984.

The Gurudwaras opened their doors to all those seeking shelter. In many colonies, people came together to defend themselves. In Seelampur, people blocked the roads against mobs and sheltered their Muslim neighbors. In Bhajanpura, Chandbag, people formed defence committees to protect each other. In Brijpuri area, residents took out a unity march condemning the violence.

In many places, Muslims fought back heroically to protect the lives of their families and their properties from the murderous gangs who were attacking them, in collusion with the police. They had learnt from the experience of previous cases of communal violence that they cannot rely on the state and self-defence is the only way.

Not caring about their own safety, many doctors worked night and day to save lives. The doctors of Al Hind Hospital in Mustafabad were amongst those who set an example.  Hundreds of wounded people kept coming to the hospital from nearby areas, far more than the small hospital was equipped to deal with. Many were grievously wounded, and they were lying on the floor of the hospital as no beds were available. The handful of doctors and nurses in the hospital worked day and night, treating the patients as best as they could. They appealed to doctors in other bigger hospitals to send ambulances immediately. However, the police prevented all ambulances from coming to Mustafabad and other such areas. It was only after the doctors approached the courts that the Delhi High Court ordered the Delhi Police to ensure that ambulances were allowed to reach this hospital and transport patients.

In the immediate aftermath of the state organised communal attacks on Muslims, people of Delhi came forward to set up relief camps in the affected area. Thousands of affected families took shelter in these camps. The people of Delhi and other parts of the country came forward to contribute medicines, food, clothing, and other necessities to these people. University students of Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi University, Ambedkar University and JNU have played an important role in this relief work.

With the children and parents traumatized at the loss of near and dear ones, as well as the loss of their homes and properties, there has been pressing need for counseling. Psychologists working in the city or teaching in the campuses, have organised themselves into teams to provide crucial counseling to the people in the camps, including the children.

Many families have lost important documents in the fires that destroyed their homes and properties. Without these documents, they are finding it difficult to get even the limited compensation being offered by the Delhi government. Teams of young lawyers and students are helping the victims deal with these problems.  

Meanwhile, a Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India has expressed its inability to prevent this kind of communal killings.

Conclusion

All available facts show that the communal violence in Delhi last month was not a riot.  It was not spontaneous.  It was an organised attack carried out by those in power. Neither Hindus nor Muslims are to blame.  It was a state-organised crime, targeted at Muslims.  Those in power are to blame and not any religious community.

The Indian state and all its institutions stand exposed as organs in the hands of an exploiting minority to divide and rule over the exploited majority of people.  Far from ensuring protection of people’s right to conscience, this state discriminates and persecutes people on the basis of their religious beliefs.

All progressive forces, all Indians who value truth and justice, must unite against state terrorism.  We must unite on the basis of the principle that an attack on one is an attack on all.

We must be vigilant against all propaganda that blames one or another religious community.  We must also be vigilant about the erroneous notion that the source of the problem lies in the ideology of a particular party, while the State and Constitution allegedly defend communal harmony.

The ruling capitalist class headed by the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas and other monopoly houses, is collaborating with the rulers of USA to whip up hatred against Muslims.  They are using the communal State to carry out violent attacks on Muslims and spread lies to put the blame on the victims. Their aim is to divert and divide the people, and forcibly crush all opposition to their imperialist economic offensive and war plans.

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Mar 16-31 2020    Voice of the Party    Communalism     Rights     2020   

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