Article: Jahangirpuri Violence: Anti-Muslim bias of Delhi Police to the fore again

Waquar Hasan

The Delhi Police have been accused of being selective in taking action in the case related to violence during Hanuman Jayanti processions in Jahangirpuri that took place on Saturday. The number of Muslims taken into custody and the FIRs registered in the aftermath of the violence points to their partisan approach to the investigation.

The communal violence broke out as a result of an attempt by a Hindu mob from the religious procession to barge into a local mosque and plant a saffron flag on the building in presence of police. This paved the way of stone-pelting which led to full scale confrontation. However, the police treated Muslims as villain of the piece.

On Sunday, the police arrested 14 people in connection with the violence. Ironically, all of them are Muslim. Among them, are Zahid, Ansar, Shahjad, Mukhtyar, Ali, Amir, Akshar, Noor Alam, Aslam, Zakir, Akram, Imtiyaz, Ali, Ahir who were booked under IPC sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 332, 323, 427, 436,307,120B IPC and 27 Arms Act. This is quite unfair given that the violence was two-sided and the aggression was from the Hindu mob.

Kawalpreet Kaur, a lawyer and activist who visited the affected areas on Sunday, recalled the highhandedness of the police. She said they (the police men) raid the area at the most earthly hour and round up people at whim.

Kawalpreet recounted on social media how “a woman was also being dragged from her house at 2 am in the night by male police. Her husband has been arrested.”

She alleged a complete lopsided investigation with the Delhi Police appearing to be acting on the script of the ruling dispensation.

Kawalpreet was part of a fact-finding team from Left parties (CPI (M), CPI, CPI (ML) and Forward Block which visited the violence-hit areas of Jahangirpuri-C block on Sunday. In its report, the team found lack of confidence in the police in the entire area. The prejudiced palpable in the inquiry, they said, showed that it’s influenced by BJP leaders.

“The incidents in Jahangirpuri have occurred as part of an agenda of some of the sangh parivar affiliates to use religious occasions and festivals as occasions to create communal incidents,” noted the report.

Speaking to Clarion India, Kawalpreets said, “It was not a clash between two groups as being projected. The violence started when some people tried to barge into a mosque. The question is how the violence broke out when the police were present there.”

She pointed out that till yesterday; the police were taking one-sided action against Muslims. Today, they arrested some people from the other side too. But many people who were brandishing weapons were not arrested so far.

Khawalpreet also said that they held any person and projected him as the mastermind.

Currently, Md Ansar is being projected as the conspirator of the violence by the Delhi Police. But an undated video has surfaced on the social media which shows him convincing an armed Hindutva man to shun violence and talk of brotherhood.

In the video, Ansar can be seen addressing a youth carrying weapons calling him “son” while asking him why he was carrying the weapons. “We are all brothers and don’t resort to violence against anyone. We say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Don’t do this,” he said and let go of the boy.

Not just the video, even Hindu neighbours of Ansar testified the good nature of Ansar.

“He has always helped us. Treated my child and also financially supported us several times. Ask anyone in our locality, none would speak ill of him. Whenever there was some fight in our area, he would always try to stop it,” said Kamlesh Gupta, one of his neighbours.

Sakina Begum, Ansar’s wife, said when violence broke out, he was breaking his fast. He left the food and rushed to save lives.

“Our Hindu neighbours never had a problem with us. We happily live together. When the health of a neighbour’s son deteriorated during Covid times, it was my husband who got him treated,” said Sakina.

Meanwhile, a letter-petition was filed by a Delhi-based lawyer, Amritpal Singh Khalsa, in the Supreme Court. In the petition, he called the police investigation “partial” and “communal” and urged the Chief Justice of India to take cognizance of the matter.

“The Delhi Police investigation so far has been partial and communal. The probe is directly shielding the perpetrators of the riots. This court even admonished Delhi Police for their failure to stop riots in 2020,” he said alluding to a similar botched up investigation during the northeast Delhi riots of 2020.

“This is the second time that riots have erupted in Delhi in two years, and on both occasions, members of the minority community are being blamed. From impartial media reports, it has emerged that a few armed members, who were part of the Hanuman Jayanti Shobha yatra procession, entered a mosque and installed a saffron flag. What followed was stone pelting by both the communities. In this entire incident, seven to eight Delhi Police personnel and civilians were severely injured and private property was damaged,” he said. Clarion India