Delhi police deliberately targeted Muslims during riots: NYT

New Delhi, March 13 : New Delhi police concertedly moved against Muslims and actively helped Hindu mobs that targeted Muslims and their homes during the deadly riots that gripped the Indian capital last month, a report published by The New York Times has said.

At least 50 people were killed in Delhi’s worst communal violence in decades, over two-thirds of them from India’s Muslim minority, according to hospital lists. Mosques were burnt and vandalised along with shops.

The report says that several videos have surfaced of Delhi police assaulting Muslims protesters and urging Hindu mobs to join.

The report also quoted a police officer as saying that as the violence erupted – attributed to mostly Hindu mobs – officials were told to deposit their guns at the police station; NYT journalists later heard officials yelling to one another that they needed guns, not sticks, to confront the growing mobs.

It also highlighted that majority of those killed in the violent clashes were Muslims.

The report also said that India’s police force was politicised by Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, citing the example of a school principal who was jailed on sedition charges for staging a play about the country’s new citizenship law.

“There’s a method to this madness,” the report quoted Umar Khalid, a Muslim activist, as saying. “The government wants to bring the entire Muslim community to their knees, to beg for their lives, and beg for their livelihoods. You can read it in their books. They believe India’s Muslims should live in perpetual fear,” he said.

Shahid Siddiqui, a former member of Parliament, was also quoted in the report as saying, “Indian police are extremely colonial and casteist.”

Police behavior, he said, is always more violent and aggressive toward the weak.

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