Delhi Police Affidavit Reveals Who Bore the Brunt of the Riot


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Earlier this year in February, communal violence shook up Delhi's north-east district following the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that came into effect on January 10, 2020. The Delhi Police affidavit presented the most comprehensive and detailed government account that officially does a break-up of the victims by their religions. 

Albeit some people have constantly described the riots as 'Anti-Hindu', the information says it was the Muslims who bore the brunt of the riot- this means that the data said otherwise. 

On July 13, a list of the dead was issued in an annexure to the affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court. It established that out of the total, 77 per cent of the civilians killed (40 out of the total 52), were Muslims. Whereas, the remaining 23 per cent (12 out of the total 52) were Hindus. 

Ratan Lal, the head constable who lost his life to gunshot wounds is the fifty-third victim. Regardless, if he is included in the list of Hindus who died, Muslims would still make up three-quarters of civilians who were killed.

Some More Stats-

There is a separate annexure that shows the break-up of houses and shops damaged or destroyed of the Hindus and the Muslims. The Delhi Police seems to have undercounted the length at which Muslims were targeted although the data confirmed that they suffered a massive and greater loss.

For the Houses That Were Damaged -

The Police provided the total number as 185, which included 14 houses of the Hindus, 50 of Muslims and 0 were not known. According to this, only 27% of the total houses damaged or destroyed belonged to the Muslims, however, the correctly calculated area-wise breakup suggests that the total of Muslims increases from 50 to 90 (the total would rise to 48.6%).

Since the breakup for Khajuri Khas and Karawal Nagar were withheld, where the most number of houses were destroyed- 54 and 23 respectively, there could be an undercount here too. They are both Hindu majority spaces, wherein Muslims reside in the pockets between them, who bore the brunt. 

41.6 per cent houses were said to belong to the 'unknown' category, in case, many if not most of these belong to the Hindus, then the total number of damages of houses borne by Hindus would rise from 7.57% to about 45 to 50%.

But if they belong to Muslims then they would be the one's who bore the brunt of about 85 to 90% damages and destructions of houses.

On March 3, the Eidgah relief camp had around 1000 Muslims, mainly the poorest and most affected of those whose houses were damaged and destroyed. Numerous others moved in with their relatives or even fled Delhi.

For the Shops That Were Damaged -

The police were unable to add up the Hindu and Muslim columns accurately. According to the neighbourhood-wise breakup, shops damaged that belonged to Hindus and Muslims were 14% (of Hindus) and 53.4% (of Muslims) sequentially. 

Though, since there was no religion-wise breakup in Khajuri Khas and Karawal Nagar- 32.4% damaged shops belong to the 'unknown'. 

Once again, if it were assumed that the 'unknowns' are Hindus, then the total number of damaged shops would rise from 14% to 40-46% but if the 'unknowns' would belong to the Muslims, then it would seem that the total number of damaged shops rise from 53.4% to 80-85% attacks on the shops or businesses of Muslims.

But the Delhi police didn't note the proof as to who was being targeted in its annexure, as it would be contrariwise to the push of its affidavit that the riots were a conspiracy by the anti- CAA protesters-

To perform a secessionist movement in the country by spreading and promoting an armed rebellion, in which the anti-government feeling that Muslims have would be applied or used at an appropriate point of time to upset the stability of the government or state.

This affidavit was filed in response to the petitions filed by Harsh Mander, Shaikh Mujtaba Farooq, Rahul Roy, Brinda Karat among others insisting and demanding FIRs be registered against BJP politicians like Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur for inflammatory speeches before the February violence.

The police said that during the investigations conducted until then in all the above-mentioned matter associated to the North-East Delhi riots, no actionable proof has surfaced hitherto indicating any role being played by the persons against whom the petitions were filed in instigating and/or participating in the riots.

Number of Temples Damaged Rises -

The Delhi Police provided the number of mosques or madrasas damaged as 11, furthermore temples only two but then the number of temples damaged went up to six which is unclear. 

The attacks on mosques/madrasas and dargahs during the riot were extensively in the media, for instance, shared details of the places that were burnt and the reporters of The Wire witnessed the burning of a mosque in Ashok Nagar as well as the planting of a Hanuman flag on top of its minaret.

Stones were pelted at the Gauri Shankar Mandir in Shiv Vihar as well as the Hanuman temple near the Rajdhani School. Both had been taken over by a mob and were momentarily targeted. Some have alleged that a Muslim mob climbed on top of the Shiv Mandir in Chandh Bagh to hurl stones, however, the priest of the temple debunked this.

Total Number of People Injured -

Albeit there is no mention of religion but going by the names of the civilians injured and that of their father's, out of the total 473 civilians that were injured- 216 were Hindus, meanwhile, 257 were Muslims. 

This was listed by the police in which 45% of civilians injured were Hindus and 55% were Muslims. The total number of the police workforce that were wounded or injured was 108.

Police Highlight Violence Against Hindus in Affidavit 

As per the data in the annexure of the Delhi Police affidavit, it is very clear that Muslims bore the brunt of the violence- their lives, homes, shops, belongings, places of worship were harmed, damaged or destroyed in the riots that wreaked havoc in North-East Delhi in February 2020. 

Despite all this, the affidavit makes no indication whatsoever that Muslims were targeted. The individual victims it reports or details are all Hindus. The brutal killings of others were not emphasized as much as that of the Hindus. 

The police have stressed the violence in the riots by those who rejected the Citizenship Amendment Act and conspired to start the riots (or that it was "pre-planned", however, there was no explanation as to why the violence by the opposite side resulted in being so much more destructive or harmful (as per the evidence in the affidavit). 

Written by - Ivanova

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