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Berlin for India Statement - 29 February 2020

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

On the 24th of February 2020, the capital city of India, Delhi witnessed deadly violent riots, predominantly targeted against Muslim communities in the North-Eastern part of the city, where protestors had been staging a sit in against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register, all of which, are aimed at discriminating against and disenfranchising Muslims and minorities in India.

All information we have at this point strongly indicates that these violent riots were aimed at the targeted persecution of Muslims and with the tacit support of the state. It is no exaggeration to state that this was a state-sponsored anti-Muslim pogrom, which has so far taken 38 lives as per official records, while the unofficial number stands at 50 plus.

Several buildings, shops, houses, mosques, petrol pumps, vehicles and other properties were vandalised, ransacked and even torched by mobs armed with sticks, stones, rods and Molotov cocktails. Eyewitness and recorded accounts show that the Delhi Police has not done enough, or anything, to stop the violent rioters. Photos and videos on social media also depict gory scenes of Hindu mobs beating Muslim people, some even to death, as others cheered and shouted slogans. This is by far the most gruesome and deadly violence to take place in the national capital in decades.

The riots followed soon after a BJP leader and former legislator Kapil Mishra issued a three-day ultimatum to the protestors and Delhi Police to clear the roads. If they failed to do so, he threatened, he and his supporters would forcefully end the protests. A few weeks earlier, Mishra, along with the Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, had rallied crowds to “shoot the traitors” in public rallies for the Delhi Elections, referring to the protestors.

Similar vitriolic rallies were held by Home Minister Amit Shah and by UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath along with other BJP leaders, all of whom have engaged in a continuous campaign of hate speech against the protestors. Today, we stand here in Berlin, in solidarity with the victims of the Anti-Muslim Pogrom in Delhi, and all the victims of communal violence, police brutality and state oppression. It is unbearable that people are being threatened, punished and killed as retaliation for peacefulprotests against the CAA, NRC, NPR and other discriminatory and unconstitutional policies of the Narendra Modi led BJP government.

We thus demand swift and stringent action against all the perpetrators of this violence, including against the public officials, who failed in their duty to safeguard public lives and property. We demand the resignation of the Home Minister, Amit Shah who has played a central role in inciting hatred and violence, and totally failed in his responsibility to provide security inside India, and to maintain law and order. We also demand action against leaders like Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Yogi Adityanath who have time and again incited crowds to hate and violence. There is ample evidence in the public domain that points towards the role and complicity of the state in violence against its citizens. The public conscience will forever bear the brunt of their actions, and history will judge us more harshly, should we sit quietly, and let this pass.

And we will not let this pass! Enough is enough, this will not stand, communalism never again, fascism never again.

Sign Berlin for India's petition to the EU here.

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