Minorities Commission Inquiry report says February’s Delhi riots ‘well-planned’


February’s riots in the Indian capital New Delhi were “well-planned,” said a fact-finding report by the Delhi Minorities Commission on Thursday.

In a report, the commission highlights that riots caused the displacement of a large number of Muslim families.

The communal riots, which turned violent, in northeast Delhi between Feb. 23 and 27 killed over 53 people, mostly Muslims, and injured over 250.

The report also documented that 11 mosques, five Muslim seminaries, one shrine, and one graveyard were attacked and damaged in the violence.

It also points out that the submission of charge sheets into complaints, without proper investigation, has created doubts over probe’s impartiality.

‘Inflammatory’ speech

The report noted that violence erupted in various parts of northeast Delhi within hours of Feb. 23 “inflammatory” speech by Kapil Mishra, a politician affiliated with the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

On Feb 26, High Court asked Delhi Police to take a “conscious decision” to register a first information report (FIR) in 24 hours against Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their speeches that led to incitement of violence.

To date, no FIR has been registered against the BJP leaders.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, M.R. Shamshad, advocate-on-record, Supreme Court of India, who headed the 10-member fact-finding committee, said the whole narrative of the riots was changed by the police.

“Certain set of FIRs were prioritized causing a perception that Muslims instigated the riots. This would not have happened if the complaints from Muslim residents were also investigated without lapses, their complaints were mostly bypassed or delayed,” said Shamshad.

He further added that the victims, most of whom were Muslims, would have stood better served with fast justice and faster disbursement of monetary relief. In several areas of northeast Delhi, properties owned by Muslims were looted, burned, and destroyed.

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