Over 2,000 people Brought in for violence : Delhi Minorities Panel Chief

Most 'outsiders' stayed in schools for up to 24 hours before launching attacks, Zafarul Islam Khan said.

delhi violence

New Delhi: Over 1,500 to 2,000 outsiders were brought to north-east Delhi and lodged there for nearly 24 hours under a planned conspiracy to unleash violence, Delhi Commission for Minorities chairperson  Zafarul Islam Khan, alleged on Tuesday, following a visit to the affected areas. He said most of these people stayed in schools before attacking the neighbourhoods.

Talking to the media about the findings of his team, which visited the areas impacted by violence on March 2, Khan said: “Our revelation is that this was planned violence. For this people had been brought from outside. It is for the police and intelligence to find from where they had come.”

He said the DCM team has obtained photographs of people who were involved in the violence and who were wearing masks or helmets. “There were approximately 1,500 to 2,000 people who had come to these areas from outside to create trouble,” he added.

Khan said the ‘outsiders’ had occupied some schools there for over 24 hours before launching the attacks. “These are the things we will talk about in detail in our report on yesterday’s visit. But our major fact finding report will come out later.”

He said the minorities panel team had conducted the field tour in coordination with the police.

Curfew was imposed after panel appealed

Khan said ever since this violence began, the Commission has been raising the issue. “We have been issuing notices and orders, even in individual cases.”As for the police, he said, “The day we had issued orders to the Delhi police to ensure security of the citizens, the same day curfew was imposed in many areas.”

Dr Khan agreed that police presence was minimal on the worst day of rioting. On people’s complaint that it was the absence of police that encouraged the rioters and arsonists, Khan said it has now been established that police presence was minimal during the first two days – February 24 and 25 – when most of the violence took place.

‘Police allowed arson, rioting’

He also alleged that while the Delhi police is making claims that it has saved people, “They have not saved anything, they allowed properties and people to be burned, allowed the rioters to damage houses and even to blast them. This is what happened.”“It was only after two days that the police became active. The violence lessened on February 26 and ended the following day. The police will have to answer for its acts – there are no two ways about this,” said Khan.

He insisted that the Commission also facilitated the visit of other people to the affected area to give people a picture of the condition of residents there. “I wrote to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East District) to facilitate such travel.”

‘Actual relief needed, sufficient food is now available in area’

On people saying that there is no provision for milk and vegetables, Islam said there is hardly anyone left in the affected areas. “Most of them have run away from the colonies which witnessed massive violence. They are either staying with their relatives or have left for their villages. Some others are staying in government or private camps. The issue is not of food, there is adequate food which has reached these places. They now need actual relief and compensation to rebuild their homes and lives.”

Also, he said, many people would need assistance to again set up their shops and businesses. “The compensation which the government has announced is not sufficient. We have demanded that this amount be enhanced so that the affected people may be able to start their lives again.

Needs: people need funds to rebuild homes, businesses

On the charge that people are not being allowed to return to their homes, Islam said, “No one is stopping them but the problem is that most of the houses have been damaged or burnt. So what will they do there without any money. The houses are badly damaged, the walls and roofs are broken, and they are littered with rubble. There were very few houses which were not badly damaged.”

Islam said people would only be able to return once they will get a feeling of security. Secondly, they will need finances to fund the repairs of their homes, he said.

On why representatives of organisations like DCM and other rights agencies took time to reach the affected areas, he said, “In February 24 and 25 there was no question of security for anyone in the area. You did not know where a bullet or brick would come from. So it was only after that that rights groups began reaching the place.”



Sabrangindia managed to access a copy of the report of the Delhi Minorities Commission. It may be read here:


Delhi Minorities Commission news

Delhi Minorities Commission visits North East district

New Delhi, 4 March 2020: A delegation of Delhi Minorities Commission, comprising of Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, Chairman, and Kartar Singh Kochhar, Member, visited the violence-affected areas of the North East District of Delhi. The Commission started its tour of the area by meeting the area ACP and DCP who explained the problems involved in policing, rescuing and rehabilitation. They claimed that policemen bravely rescued hundreds of stranded people who were surrounded by mobs, like rescuing 350 Muslims from Sherpur on 25 February. Later the delegation, accompanied by some police officers and members of the Commission’s peace and minority advisory committees, toured the affected areas. Here is what the commission found during this tour:

We found extensive damage to Muslim houses, shops and workshops everywhere we went. We found that people were visiting their damaged homes and houses for the first time since they fled on 24-25 February but since the houses and shops were badly damaged and the debris were lying inside as well as on the streets, there was no question that they will be able to start living there again any time soon. Moreover, removing debris or starting repairs will affect their chances of getting any compensation from the government.

At a parking lot near Ambedkar College, we found burnt hand-carts (thelas) and tractors. The guard at the site told us that 100 hand-carts and 11 tractors were torched and a school bus, still parked at the place, was extensively damaged. The attackers took away whatever they could like batteries of the vehicles before torching them.

At Yamuna Vihar, on one side of the road are Muslim houses and shops while on the other side are Hindus’ houses and shops and both areas were affected by looting and burning. At a charred petrol pump, the owner Mahinder Aggrawal claimed that 30 vehicles were torched there.

At Bhajanpura, we found that Muslim-owned shops, like a travel agency and motorcycle showroom, were looted and torched while Hindu-owned shops were left untouched.

We also also saw Councillor Tahir Husain’s factory building which was still under construction. He is an accused in the riots.

At E-Block of Khajuri Khas, we found Muslim shops burnt. A police officer claimed that the area DCP saved 350 Muslims from the locality.

In gali no. 5 of Khajuri Khas, residents told us that violence started there late in the night of 23 February shortly after the threat and ultimatum of Kapil Mishra. This gali is a blind alley where 100 persons lived and they could not on their own flee from the main road. They left the place under police protection in the morning of 25 February. In this gali, we found the house of the BSF jawan Mohammad Anis, which was badly damaged. He was not at home at the time though four members of his family were present there. We saw here a carpenter’s shop owned by Muhammad Ilyas which was looted and badly damaged.

In 3/51 Khajuri Extension, Jameel Ahmad has car repair garage where seven cars, six autorickshaws and nine motorcycles were burnt. He told us that Hindus took away their cars hours before the garage was torched and its building was looted and damaged.

At C-429 in gali no. 29 of Khajuri Khas, we saw the gutted Masjid Fatima where people had taken refuge in the belief that mobs will not attack a religious place. Masoom Ali’s damaged house is adjacent to the mosque. He told us that the SDM was telling them that residents of one house will get only one compensation irrespective of the number of families living there.

In the same gali, there is house no. C/1/28/413 which belongs to Prem Chand, Delhi Police ISI who had let it to a Muslim family since 2007. The house was torched after the family fled the place. The rioters returned later to burn it once again.

In Brijpuri, we found the 30-year-old Arun Modern School owned by Bhisham Sharma who was a Congress MLA several times. It was extensively burnt and damaged in the evening of 25 February. Removables like computers and even steel railings and CCTV cameras were looted. 800 students study here. This was the only place where we found repairs going on, on war footing, perhaps to reopen the school at the earliest.

In Shiv Vihar, we found two schools which both were occupied by the goons who had come from outside the area. The first is Rajdhani Public School owned by Faisal Farooq and the other is DRP Convent School owned by Pankaj Sharma. Both share a wall. At Rajdhani School, driver Raj Kumar told us that some 500 persons barged into his school at around 6:30 pm on Monday, 24 February. They wore helmets and hid their faces. They remained there for the next 24 hours. They went away next evening after the arrival of a police force in the area. They were young, well-built people who had arms and giant catapults which they used to throw petrol bombs from the school roof to other houses across the road. Some of them used heavy ropes, still in the school, to climb down into the other adjacent school. They took away the computers and any other thing they could carry and smashed and burnt what they left behind.

At DPR School, we were given the same description of the people who occupied the Rajdhani School but more people, upwards of 1500, stayed here for over 24 hours from 24th evening. They climbed down into the school from the roof of the adjacent Rajdhani School. Roop Singh, guard, gave us the same description of those people as given by the Rajdhani School driver. Singh told us that he somehow saved himself and his family by slipping away from a rear door. He lived with his family in a quarter inside the school. He told us that these people looted or burnt everything in the school. We found in the school open area a mound of burnt desks with only their steel frames intact. They were going to fix new wooden tops on those frames. Rajdhani School gave us a photograph (attached) of the mob which had occupied it for over 24 hours. In it, young people are seen wearing helmets and covering their faces. The guard of the DRP School confirmed that same kind of people occupied his school also. Over 2000 such people stayed in the two schools for over 24 hours. They used to go out in small trucks in shifts of 2-3 hours each time to execute their looting and burning mission outside. Their food was brought to them inside the school. It was clear that they had local people helping them.

In Shivpuri, Muslim are a small minority. It is the worst affected area, we found outnumbered Muslim homes selectively burnt and damaged. We found here Aulia Masjid which was gutted and badly damaged. The floor of the mosque was hidden by the debris and two gas cylinders were lying on the floor. Apparently these could not explode. Most houses were blasted using gas cylinderss taken from other houses. We found here in gali no. 10, the bakery of Iqrar son of Mohammad Afsar which was looted and later burnt in the night of 25 February.

There are many affected localities in the North East district which we could not visit. Moreover, thousands of people have fled from the area and gone to their villages in UP or Haryana or were living with relatives elsewhere in Delhi. Hundreds are still living in camps run by the community. Some are also living in camps run by the Delhi Government.

It is our assessment that the violence in North East distric to Delhi was one-sided and well-planned in which maximum damage was inflicted on Muslim houses and shops with local support. Without massive help these people will not be able to rebuild their lives. We feel that the compensation announced by Delhi government is not adequate for the purpose.



Delhi Minorities Commission
Vikas Bhawan, C Block, 1st Floor,
I.P. Estate / ITO [opposite Delhi Police HQ],
New Delhi-110002
Tel.: 011-23370823, 9911142151
Email: dmc_nct@rediffmail.comchair.dmc@gmail.com





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