Delhi MLA Says Tahir Hussain Blamed for Delhi Riots Because He Is a Muslim

A scene of riots in Delhi. Photo: Reuters
A scene of riots in Delhi. Photo: Reuters

Amanatullah Khan vehemently challenges the charges against his former colleague Tahir Hussain, saying that the real culprits are roaming freely.

By Rakesh Raman

A Delhi MLA Amanatullah Khan has said that Tahir Hussain is being punished for the Delhi riots because he is a Muslim. A member of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Khan said in his tweet Thursday (June 4) that the real instigators of violence in Delhi are not being questioned.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the police have alleged in a charge sheet filed against the suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain that he had started planning the riots in January.

However, Amanatullah Khan vehemently challenges the charges against his former colleague Hussain, saying that the real culprits are roaming freely.

He was pointing the finger at a former AAP politician Kapil Mishra, who was seen instigating a crowd of hoodlums before the violent Delhi pogrom that took place in February. Since Mishra has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of PM Narendra Modi, he gets immunity from any police action against him.

According to a recent report released by the global human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kapil Mishra was behind the Delhi massacre in which more than 50 people – mostly Muslims – were murdered.

The violence in Delhi, according to the HRW report, began soon after local BJP politician Kapil Mishra, who had earlier led a large demonstration calling to “shoot” the protesters, posted a video in which he gave an ultimatum to the police, threatening to take the matter into his own hands if the police did not clear the roads of protesters in three days.

The protesters were demanding the repeal of anti-Muslim Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Under the act, for the first time in India, religion is a basis for granting citizenship.

The HRW report further explains that BJP leaders – who mostly act as mobsters – derided the protesters or more dangerously called them anti-national and pro-Pakistan. Addressing a mob of BJP goons, a minister in the Modi government described the protesters as “Pakistani hooligans,” while others led a chant to “shoot the traitors,” inciting violence.

Later, Brinda Karat – a CPI(M) leader – did not mince her words to directly blame India’s Home Minister Amit Shah for the murderous attacks on innocent people of Delhi.

In a video interview with a local news channel, Ms Karat said that Amit Shah – whose whereabouts were not known during the days of violence in February – was secretly leading the rioters to attack people belonging to the minority community or Muslims. “Riots were 100% led by Amit Shah while the police were complicit in the crime,” she said.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also said that police failed to protect Muslims who were attacked by mobs in Delhi riots. “I am concerned by reports of police inaction in the face of attacks against Muslims by other groups, as well as previous reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters,” Ms Bachelet said.

She was updating the Human Rights Council on human rights concerns, and progress, across the world in the Council’s 43rd Session in Geneva.

While most people believe that the violence that started on February 23 in the northeast Delhi was supported by the government, more than 50 people lost their lives in it and over 200 people got injured, mostly with bullet wounds.

It is being alleged that PM Modi and Amit Shah were behind Delhi riots, as they had been spreading hatred between communities through their hate speeches with the aim to divide people on religious lines and gain political advantage.

However, now the investigating agencies are blaming students and others for Delhi violence. Also, a large number of CAA protesters are being arrested and jailed under the cover of Covid-19 lockdowns, as people can’t protest against the government excesses.

DEATH THREATS FOR EDITORIAL WORK

As a journalist, I have been facing increasing threats including death threats for my editorial and anti-corruption work while the Indian authorities have ignored my complaints about these threats.

The Paris-based international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that defends freedom of journalists has urged the Indian government to save me from threats and persecution.

Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of RSF, has written letters to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law and Justice Minister; Amit Shah, Union Home Minister; and others, asking them to take action against the culprits who threaten me. In an article written on its site, RSF explains that in the recent months I have received multiple threats for my reporting.

Now, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India has issued notice to Delhi Police in my case so that I could work and move freely, but the Delhi Police did not respond.

Rakesh Raman

According to human rights organization Amnesty International India, the Government of India’s ongoing crackdown on dissent and free speech is leading to the arrest of journalists, activists, lawyers, and students under repressive laws and being sent to overcrowded prisons which are potential Covid-19 hotspots.

Meanwhile, according to a new report released by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India is among a dozen Asia-Pacific (A-P) countries that are depriving people of their right to express during the ongoing Covid crisis.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects. These publications include the “Covid Health Bulletin” that covers global coronavirus news and views.

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