In a letter to the President of India, several activists and civil society members have raised concerns about an order by the Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) asking his force to exercise “due care and precaution” when it comes to the arrest of Hindus accused of instigating violence during the February 2020 riots in North East Delhi.
The letter signed by close to 60 activists such as Shabnam Hashmi, Fr Cedric Prakash, Arundhuti Dhuru (NAPM), Ashok Choudhry (AIUFWP), Dev Desai (ANHAD, Dr. Rashid Husain (PUCL) and several other human rights activists, journalists, students and teachers, says, “It has been reported by the media that caution has been advised while arresting the Hindu youth found involved in the violence.” Th eletter quotes a report in the Indian Express that says that the arrests of “some Hindu youth” from riot-hit areas in Northeast Delhi has led to a “degree of resentment among the Hindu community” and “due care and precaution” must be taken while making arrests, the Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) has written in an order to senior officers heading probe teams and asked them to “suitably” guide the Investigating Officers.
In their letter to the President, the activists say that the order “puts a question mark on the impartiality of the investigative agency. It clearly demonstrates its inclination to placate one community at the cost of the other. The blatant partisanship of the police as expressed in the letter only supports the doubts in the minds of the minority Muslims who have been claiming that even after them being the main targets and victims of the violence, the police has made disproportionate arrests from the community and has been targeting them under the garb of investigation.”
The entire letter may be read here: