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Humanity at stake in burning Delhi

Silent protests, elections and humiliating results all that was very difficult for BJP to deal with and a thunderous silence on the part of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu was not only shocking but it has surprised me. How come the government is the mute spectator? Venomous statements from leaders for the violence and ignition during the campaign and now are 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 response of the Delhi Police to the escalating violence has been rather delayed, a trait that has been seen consistently in the recent past at Tis Hazari during the lawyer-police clashes, Jamia Millia Islamia University, JNU, Shaheen Bagh and now in the trans-Yamuna area. The Delhi Police, generally adroit at dealing with such situations has appeared rudderless and listless, bereft of any sense of direction and purpose. There are hundreds of videos circulating on the social media showing how the Delhi police are not capable to break CCTV cameras but also directed the path to rioters.

They were gathering stones to throw and were supporting particular groups to eliminate Muslims. What can be horrific than this where the government is a mute spectator and the police are hand in gloves with rioters. It’s not Hindu or Muslim, it’s humanity that is on stake. Leadership, if any, is obviously 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 groups of police forces arrive, but there is no one to take charge of them. No attempt has been made towards area domination. They all were standing like bay watchers while goons were on a rampage. The prime minister was busy entertaining his guest while BJP leaders were even busier in making arrangements. Delhi Government hardly has any power as the police is under the Central government, law and order is under the home minister, but still he would have acted promptly but the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal waited two long days to respond. By then, a lot of damage was done. The opposition party, Congress tried meeting President Kovind who expressed his unavailability.

The Congress could hardly do anything as it is out of power. Now, the party would be undertaking a march to the President over the Delhi violence. The Congress however did not announce that a similar march would be taken out in riot-affected areas, a suggestion that Sonia Gandhi offered to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his 61 MLAs. Sonia Gandhi’s somewhat delayed press conference had an impact. Minutes after her outbursts against the government, the prime minister took to Twitter and appealed for peace and brotherhood in Delhi, just like the way he did last time during the Gujarat riots. Many BJP leaders have been spreading an atmosphere of fear and hate by making inflammatory speeches. BJP supporters on social media are rejoicing the riots, they were trending as #SaveHindu in Delhi but they advocated the killings of Muslims. Perhaps many of them took pride of killing and brutality to this community. Kapil Mishra who had threatened to “come out on the roads” and “will not listen to you [the police]” if they failed to remove anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters from Jafrabad and Chand Bagh in North East Delhi. Clashes broke out soon after, intensified through next two to three days but no action was taken against him. The PM did not even mention this in his tweet. The same Kapil Mishra when he was in the AAP used to abuse PM Modi with all sorts of unparliamentarily language. Now after he joined the BJP he is playing a different role to tarnish the image of the Aam Aadmi Party. His frustration is evident.

BJP needs to realise that the hate mongering is not going to help those grabbing votes. Earlier during the Delhi Assembly election campaign, BJP leaders Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur made statements that were provocative and the Election Commission punished them with periodic ban on electioneering by the two leaders. The anti-CAA protests began in mid-December with the amended citizenship law being linked to update of the National Population Register (NPR) and preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The narrative that troubled many were that the combination of the three CAA, NPR and NRC was aimed at one particular community. The government came out with clarification and even made a visible climb-down from its earlier position on both the NPR and the NRC. But it did not have much impact on the protesters who continued with their demand that the CAA should be withdrawn.

The central government limited its role in policing in which the Delhi Police proved ineffective due to lack of adequate experience and necessary guidance. The police either launched a crackdown in overreaction or preferred to keep its hands clean. In the process; the police suffered a loss of not only its personnel in death and injuries, but also of credibility. Reports quoting both sides of rioters in the North East Delhi say people have less trust in Delhi Police’s ability to deal with the current communal situation. After more than 37 people died and over hundreds got injured in communal clashes that broke out. Over 200 injured after four straight days of brutal violence over the citizenship law, 130 people have been arrested so far. WhatsApp was used to organise goons from Uttar Pradesh and to identify areas to target. Over 50 phones have been seized from the accused. Hundreds of police and paramilitary personnel are patrolling the streets of the region. The Delhi Police has filed 48 FIRs and arrested 130 people in connection with the violence, which they say is now under control. But no one knows the ground reality. Hate is breeding and people are bleeding, I never wanted such new India. God save my country.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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