Human Rights Citizens’ Report on 2020 Delhi Riots is an Indictment of the Country: Harsh Mander

Citizens’ Report on 2020 Delhi Riots is an Indictment of the Country: Harsh Mander

In an interview with Karan Thapar and the activist discuss the report’s findings that the Delhi police and government did precious little to stop the violence.

In an interview to discuss the recently released Citizens Committee report on the 2020 Delhi riots which, sadly, has not got the attention it deserves from the media, human rights activists and the founder of Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Harsh Mander agrees the report is “a devastating critique of our country”.

He says: “It’s a credible, convincing indictment of all that has gone wrong in our country. It should have led to nationwide outrage. The fact that it’s barely being discussed reflects even more deeply how far the rot has gone.”

In a 30-minute interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, Mander added: “The report underlines how dark a moment this is in India’s journey as a republic, how every institution is crumbling and with what consequences.”

The interview first discusses in some detail the Citizens Committee report’s findings about the response, behaviour and alleged complicity of the Delhi Police. How they failed to act for three days even though they had received at least six internal alerts from the Special Branch. How the Committee has found a mass of information indicating police failures and police complicity. How the behaviour of the police at Jamia Millia Islamia was nothing short of brutality.

Most importantly, the interview discusses the report’s findings that show that the charge of conspiracy to create terror is fabricated and prosecution under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act is “a perversion of the law”. The interview also discusses the report’s findings that the charge of conspiracy “is based on unexplained belated statements which are inherently unreliable in law.”

Finally, the interview discusses the double standards in police behaviour clearly visible in the difference between their treatment of Hindus and Muslims.

Summing up the section on the police, Harsh Mander called it “a betrayal of the people of India”.

The interview also discusses the report’s findings about the Modi government. It says the response of the Ministry of Home Affairs was “wholly inadequate”. The interview also discusses the report’s findings about the Delhi government which it says “did precious little during this entire time to mediate between the communities”.

The interview discusses the strong indictment in the report of the media and, in particular, television channels like Republic, Times Now, Aaj Tak, Zee News and India TV.

Speaking about members of the Citizens Committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur and including former chief justice of the Delhi and Madras high courts Justice A.P. Shah, former home secretary G.K. Pillai as well as Justices (retired) R.S. Sodhi and Anjana Prakash, Harsh Mander said: “There couldn’t be a more credible set of people pointing towards grave crimes against the constitution itself.”

Read the article/watch the video here

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