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Rescripting north-east Delhi riots – and the question of justice – By Vikas Kumar and Radhika Chitkara

Arshad Alam, Amaan Iqbal, Deepak Kumar, Mohammad Hamza and many others were killed in communal riots that convulsed north-east Delhi in late February 2020. Many more were injured, or victims of arson.

The Home Minister stated on March 11 that “over 700 FIRs” had been filed. Yet about 80 days after the riots started, little is known to the public about the status of most cases as the police aggressively and selectively pursue a few FIRs and seek to project a so-called “conspiracy” behind the riots, led by anti-CAA protest organisers.

This has deliberately diverted attention from well-reported facts – BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s role, the fact that no FIR still exists against him or other leaders, incidents of communal violence by mobs, including Hindu aggressors, and many instances of communal bias of the police, including illegal detentions of Muslims and refusal to lodge ‘missing person’ complaints by Muslims. This diversion is quite likely being abetted also by the problems and weaknesses in routine FIRs filed in riot-related cases (in a manner reminiscent of Gujarat in 2002).

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