Friday, August 28, 2020

The Delhi Riots

During deadly religious riots in Delhi earlier this year more than 40 people died when clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims over a controversial citizenship law. 

An Amnesty International investigation corroborates the BBC's reporting on incidents of police brutality and complicity during the riots in February, the deadliest in the city for decades. Several other reports have also raised questions over police conduct during the riots. A report by the Delhi Minorities Commission also alleged that the police allowed Muslim homes and shops to be targeted by mobs.
Amnesty International alleges police beat protesters, tortured detainees and at times took part in riots with Hindu mobs. The Amnesty report says that while Hindus also suffered losses, Muslims were disproportionately targeted in the riots.

"The riot that seemed far from spontaneous saw almost three times the number of Muslim casualties compared to Hindus. Muslims also bore the brunt of loss of business and property," it said.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) - which critics say is anti-Muslim - sparked massive protests across India after it was passed last year. One such demonstration in Delhi turned violent - clashes broke out between protesters for and against the law. The violence soon took religious overtones and the rioting continued for three days, with Muslim homes and shops being targeted by violent mobs. The report says its forensic analysis of videos from the rioting supports the conclusion that the police stood by, allowing rioters to wreak havoc in some places.

It also alleges that hate speeches by right-wing leaders sparked the riots - but notes that the police have taken no action against them. On the other hand, it says, police have arrested civil rights activists, teachers and students, most of them Muslim.
"Not even a single political leader that made hate speeches, which advocated violence in the build-up to the riots has been prosecuted," it said.

"As the Delhi police investigate who is responsible for the riots, there have been no investigations till now into the human rights violations committed by the Delhi police during the riots," says the report.

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