Resisting Communal Hate and Riot Mongering in Delhi

In the midst of communal riot mongering, AISA, AICCTU and CPI(ML), along with several progressive and democratic forces in Delhi, have been actively intervening in several ways to resist this orchestrated violence and hate mongering. Immediately after the violence in Trilokpuri began, at a time when all sorts of rumours were being spread to escalate communal tensions across Delhi, various teams (including members of AISA, CPI(ML) and JNUSU) visited the area to meet the people and document the facts. These teams highlighted the manner in which common brawls between individuals were deliberately being given a communal colour by vested interests. At a time when the media was completely blocking out the role of the Delhi Police – the lack of adequate action to begin with, the arbitrary arrests of people, the injuries inflicted by the police lathi charge on men and women in Muslim dominated areas, the torture and beatings in police custody of those arrested, and moreover the lack of action against the former BJP MLA Sunil Vaidya and other RSS leaders who had clearly played a role in inciting the violence – these teams highlighted the need to demand accountability from the police and the state machinery.

JNUSU took the initiative to organise a Citizens' Protest against the prejudiced role of the Delhi Police on 1 November 2014. AISA and various left and democratic individuals and organizations, including the Delhi Forum and left student groups such as Democratic Students' Union (DSU) and Democratic Students' Federation (DSF) participated in this demonstration. A delegation consisting of JNUSU leaders met representatives of the Delhi Police and submitted a detailed note demanding strong action against responsible police officers who failed to act in time to stop the violence, immediate action against well-known instigators of the violence such former BJP MLA Sunil Vaidya and RSS leader Ramcharan Gujarati, an end to the arbitrary arrests and chargesheets without evidence and investigation, and provision of proper security, medical and legal aids to those accused persons who are inside Tihar jail. AISA and JNUSU are also actively part of the ongoing initiatives to provide proper legal aid to those arbitrarily arrested and tortured as 'rioters' (around 75-80 per cent of those arrested by the police are Muslims) and to provide medical and legal aid to those injured in the Trilokpuri violence. They have been intervening with the Minority Commission as well as with the Delhi Police to demand action and justice in this milieu of violence and communal hate mongering.

Even as democratic forces were dealing with the situation in Trilokpuri, tensions broke out in Bawana as Muharram approached. Long-standing communal tensions in Bawana (at the outskirts of Delhi) took a vicious inflammatory turn, when a Mahapanchayat was called on 2nd November to provoke hatred against the Taziya (Moharram procession) in Bawana. On hearing of the communal mobilisation in Bawana, JNUSU wrote to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi demanding immediate action to prevent the Mahapanchayat. On the day of the Mahapanchayat, an AISA team visited Bawana on 2 November, met local people and witnessed the Mahapanchayat and the developments around it. On the day of Muharram (4 November 2014), AISA and JNUSU teams from DU and JNU went to both Trilokpuri and Bawana to resist all attempts to foment violence and communal tensions during the Taziya procession. Even as those who foment communal tensions roam around free in Delhi, AISA activists were detained by the Delhi Police when they tried to enter Bawana – for several hours they were detained in different police stations in the region and were released only late at night.

Liberation Archive