In Delhi violence investigation, a disturbing pattern: Victims end up being prosecuted by police
On February 24, communal violence engulfed North East Delhi, leaving at least 53 people dead over the next three days, most of whom were Muslim. Exactly a month later, India went under a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Normal life came to a halt – but not Delhi Police’s investigation into the violence.
By April 13, the police had made more than 800 arrests, the Indian Express reported. An unidentified official was quoted in the report saying that the Union Home Ministry “insisted that police must continue making arrests under any circumstances”.
But many lawyers and activists say the lockdown reduced scrutiny of the police investigation and impaired access to justice for those arrested. On May 16, activists of the Peoples’ Union for Democratic Rights, a civil liberties group, wrote in The Hindu that very little was known about the status of most Delhi violence cases.
Based on an analysis of around 40 FIRs, it accused the police of displaying communal bias against Muslims, by diluting charges against Hindu accused. “It is imperative, for the sake of justice that all FIRs pertaining to the riots be opened to public scrutiny,” the activists said.
The same day, the Delhi Police issued a rejoinder to the...
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