New Delhi: More than 400 academicians from across the world have condemned in an open letter Tuesday, the rioting and violence that took place last week in Northeast Delhi killing at least 47 people.
Calling the communal riots in Delhi an “anti-Muslim pogrom”, the academicians have held BJP leader Kapil Mishra responsible for the violence after he warned people of dire consequences if the protest sites were not cleared. They note that that Mishra issued this ultimatum in the presence of a senior police officer.
The signatories of the letter include academicians from universities in India such as JNU, Ambedkar University, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kharagpur and foreign universities such as University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, University College Dublin, SOAS University of London, among others, refer to the rioters as “fanatical right-wing mobs” and “extremist Hindutva rioters”.
‘Not an anti-CAA clash. It was anti-Muslim’
The academics state that the violence was anti-Muslim and not a “clash” between pro-CAA and anti-CAA camps. They also highlight that “there are no two sides to this story, there is no nuance, only senseless violence fuelled by the communal agenda of the upper-caste Hindu right-wing”.
Speaking about the breakdown of law and order in Delhi, the academics also mention the incidents at Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU and AMU which preceded the large-scale violence in Delhi. They say that all these incidents have taken place because of the complicity of the Delhi Police who are “acting in near-perfect coordination with the right-wing mobs”.
The letter goes on to draw a comparison of the riots in Delhi to the Gujarat riots of 2002, in which more than 1,000 people were killed and the anti-CAA violence in Uttar Pradesh.
As part of their list of demands, the academics have asked for a judicial inquiry to be set up to investigate the actions of the Delhi Police as well as a ban on organisations such as the Bajrang Dal, which they believe were at the “forefront of this pogrom and which have been emboldened under the Modi regime”.
They have also demanded that the state immediately and adequately compensate those whose houses, shops and livelihoods have been destroyed.