Delhi violence: State Home Dept scanner on video clip of woman ‘pelting stones’

SabrangIndia had flagged Ragni Tiwari’s communally inflammatory videos in February; her social media pages were full of incendiary videos and rants against Muslims


The Delhi Home Department is all set to share with the Delhi Police a video clip purportedly showing a woman identified as Ragni Tiwari by scores of media outlets, who had broadcast a verbally abusive Facebook live, targeting, and calling for violence against Muslims in North East Delhi. The clip Delhi’s Home Department will share with Delhi Police is from the time just before the North East Delhi riots broke out. It purportedly shows Ragni Tiwari “pelting stones with other rioters right in front of policemen at Maujpur on February 23”, reported Indian Express.

According to Indian Express, the clip, shot by journalist Farhan Yahiya, shows a woman, identified by the Delhi Assembly Panel on Welfare of Minorities as Ragni Tiwari, and she can purportedly be seen engaging in verbal altercations with security personnel even as stone pelting went on outside the Maujpur-Babarpur Metro station. The security personnel can be heard commenting on the absence of women police staff.

SabrangIndia was one of the first to report how the mob violence raging across Delhi since February 23 appeared to have been carefully fuelled and nurtured using social media. As homes, shops, vehicles and people “went up in flames, with the Delhi Police doing little to contain the carnage, Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp were flooded with videos of men and women calling for violence in the name of religion, stated the SabrangIndia report dated February 29 .

The woman is seen standing behind the policemen for a few seconds before she herself picks up a piece of brick and throws it towards the other side. The panel flagged the video with the Home Department on October 7, reported Indian express and said Principal Secretary (Vigilance) Rajeev Verma, acting as Principal Secretary (Home) BS Bhalla’s link officer, has said that the department will flag the video with police as it has done in the case of seven other clips. According to the IE report the Delhi Police had responded and said it was “analysing and trying to assess the date, time and location of four such clips, including two purportedly showing police complicity with rioters, while action has been taken in case of three clips.” According to the news report Delhi Police have responded to the department’s communication flagging five near identical FIRs against five Muslim youths filed between 3 P.M and 9.25 P.M on February 27 — all of which stated that the accused were found with live desi kattas in their right pockets at different locations and different times. “The investigation in the said FIRs is still in progress. All the cases were registered under Arms Act with the allegations of recovery of illegal weapons from the possession of the accused persons. All the police officials of the district as well as outer force were kept on high alert. The patrolling staff was directed to conduct extensive search. They were specifically directed to look for and recover illegal firearms. The accused persons were apprehended on February 27 by five different patrolling teams at different locations during these operations. They were found carrying loaded country made firearms. All the accused persons are presently on court bail. The report u/s 173 CrPC will be filed in court after completion of investigation for judicial verdict,” the police wrote.

According to IE, the House panel, through the Home Department, had also sought to know the list of participants at protests against CAA and NRC who have been detained or arrested under charges of inciting violence during the riots. The police replied that it “does not maintain any such separate list” adding that “the complete list of arrested persons cannot be shared at this stage for the sake of a fair investigation,” stated the IE.

SabrangIndia had then reported that as the number of deaths in the violence continued to rise, the matter was taken to the Delhi High Court. On February 26, Justice S Muralidhar had questioned the police why there had been no FIRs lodged against leaders of the ruling party for their inflammatory speeches. He had said, “You showed alacrity in lodging FIRs for arson, why aren’t you showing the same for registering FIR for these speeches?” Interestingly, shortly after he was shunted out, the next bench hearing the same case granted the police a month’s time to deal with the matter of filing FIRs.

While Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma have become the poster boys for hate speech, Mishra’s speeches were said to be the immediate trigger for the Delhi violence. At the time there was a network of right-wing elements slowly spreading hate through social media. With followers in thousands and lakhs, there were some people openly calling for violence against minorities, reported SabrangIndia.

One such woman was Ragni Tiwari, who called herself a religious warrior, or ‘dharmyodha’. She is a member of the Rashtriya Azad Manch, and her profile on Facebook contained incendiary videos and rants against the minorities. At the heart of the Delhi violence, she was seen mobilizing people to come and attack Muslims. She had been seen on video, blocking a road in Jafrabad in retaliation to the Shaheen Bagh protest, not allowing people or vehicles to go through. During the heat of the Delhi violence, she was even seen abusing the Delhi police for their inaction against the rioters whom she claims to be Muslims.

She seems to have either deleted many of her posts, or locked her social media profile since then.


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