When the American President Donald Trump was hailing India’s diversity, tolerance, peace and democracy in Ahmedabad upon his arrival to India, Delhi was engulfed in the communal violence. The capital’s northeast part was burning, just 10 to 15 kilometres away from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hosting Trump at a gala event in Delhi.
After 70 hours of rampage in Delhi, PM Modi finally opened his eyes and urged for peace and harmony, but by then, hundreds of homes and shops were torched, hundreds of vehicles were vandalised and several religious sites were set on fire. It has left more than 40 people dead, including police personnel and an IB officer.
It is hard to believe but plenty evidence is available online which shows that Delhi Police not only failed to prevent the violence, but was actually roaming around with the mobs. In chilling videos, the Delhi Police can be seen pelting stones with the rioters, breaking street cameras and provoking violence in the city.
In another video, a rioter, while hurling abuses and chanting “Jai Shree Ram,” can be seen and heard saying, “police prashashan zindabad!” (long live the rule of the police) while the police can be clearly seen hanging around.
It is clear that some politicians and political parties are responsible behind this massacre, but how will we explain to our future generations that when the city was burning and people were dying, the cops were waiting to take action against predators? That when the city was under control by a number of rival mobs, the police stood idly and let the city wilfully burn?
Over the past two months, the way Delhi Police have been dealing with CAA protesters is shameful for the entire police fraternity and questions must be raised against their idle behaviour. We all have seen how Delhi cops entered Jamia Millia Islamia’s university library and brutally beat up whoever came in their path.
Probably, the country has witnessed for the first time – a group of masked policemen firing tear-gas shells inside a university library, breaking the CCTV cameras and destroying the library. Then, yet another dark side of the Delhi Police, who report to the Home Minister Amit Shah, which allowed a masked mob inside one of India’s most reputed campuses – JNU – to brutalise the students.
Delhi has seen countless instances of violence, but the ghost of 1984’s anti-Sikh riots still haunts this city, where around 3000 people were butchered in three days and a man who monitored the violence and had said, “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes,” later became the Prime Minister of India. Many perpetrators of the 1984 genocide enjoyed political patronage for years. But ironically, many are still waiting for justice to be served and many relive the horror each day.
Like the 1984 riots, the Delhi Police was either helpless or present only for backing the mobsters in the recent violence. The police seemed paralysed when BJP leaders like Anurag Thakur and Pravesh Verma were deteriorating the national capital’s atmosphere by their hate speeches just a few days before the violence. The police were mute and turned a blind eye to a local BJP leader Kapil Mishra who added fuel to communal fire in the city.
Politicians have done their job and have gone back to their luxurious life, the police have also done their job – whatever orders they were asked to follow. But people have died, schools and mosques have been set ablaze, shops have been looted by mobs. This horrifying mayhem will be remembered in the capital’s painful memories forever.
After watching all of this, dear Delhi Police, your role will never be forgiven. Your badges are no more a symbol of your duty, your integrity has been dead in both public and private life, your courage now looks more like a signal of fear and danger, your responsibility for public safety is no longer accountable to your office, and your inaction in the violence was shameful for the entire police community.