The unabating violence, unrestrained mobs and biased police reveal the abdication of responsibility

The flaring violence in Delhi, showing no signs of abating or control is a reflection of the failure of the state and the central governments in maintaining the rule of law. The ability of the central government to gear up the law and order machinery and beef up security has not transcended the four walls of the rooms where a slew of meetings were chaired by union home minister Amit Shah. The Delhi government, though not directly in-charge of law and order has failed to send its men and machinery into the affected areas of north-east Delhi and other parts of the state to make strong appeals for calm and instill confidence among the public.

It cannot abdicate its responsibility sheerly by the logic that it has no control over the law and order machinery. It is also a matter of grave concern that despite the magnanimity of the violence and the rapidness with which it is spreading, having taken toll of over a score of people and left hundreds injured besides the sense of insecurity and anxieties it has invoked in the capital city of the country, the Supreme Court has refused to intervene on grounds that the matter is already in the Delhi High Court, which appears to be dragging its feet. Only late Tuesday night, the High Court belatedly responded by directing that safe passage be given to the minorities injured during the riots who were unable to move to hospitals for treatment. But even for the post mortems, the high court orders are being still awaited. There is a clear abdication of responsibility by everybody.

The major blame, however, is on the BJP government at the Centre, not only by virtue of its absolute control over the police, whose biased actions are appalling, to say the least, but also in view of the fact that the fire has been stoked by the BJP leader Kapil Mishra who recently lost the Delhi elections. Goons armed with batons, bullets and stones have been entering the localities, thrashing people, firing at them and vandalising property including places of worship. In some places the minority community groups have clashed with them. However, the police are either absent or allowing everything to happen right under their nose. Shocking details have emerged in sections of media about how fanatic mobs, inspired by Hindu right wing ideology, are moving around and checking the identities of passersby, of vandalizing religious places in the backdrop of cheering crowds. Even journalists doing their jobs were not spared and could manage to get away only because they could ascertain their Hindu identity. Many of the goons are openly voicing what BJP’s Kapil Mishra said, “Once Trump goes, we will not spare the Muslims…” referring to the visit of US president Donald Trump who concluded his visit to India on Tuesday evening. While the BJP is wrongly trying to project that the triggered violence is a communal clash between two communities, there is a clear indication that in majority of the incidents, it are the Hindu right wing mobs that are going on a rampage, though some clashes have also taken place.

The guilty, whichever community they are from must not be spared. The biased role of the police which has given these frenzied Hindutva mobs a free hand also stems from the patronage the police have got from the political bosses sitting in the corridors of power. Their prejudiced actions and calculated inefficiency appears far more dangerous and sinister in the light of recent incidents at Jamia Millia Islamia University, where the cops have been caught on camera beating peacefully studying students and in giving goons a free hand in Jawaharlal Nehru University. The violence being perpetrated on minorities and the police’s biased role appear very systemic and also consistent with the hate rhetoric of some members of the ruling party. The government needs to thus step in responsibly and efficiently as a perception is being created that at least a section of the government is acting as an agent provocateur.