Dead and Buried

Delhi Police ignored complaints against Kapil Mishra, other BJP leaders for leading mobs in Delhi violence

21 June 2020
Kapil Mishra, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, addresses a rally against Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government in January 2019. Following the violence that swept northeast Delhi in February 2020, Mishra was accused in several complaints of inciting mobs and instigating a rampage against protesters opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
Sonu Mehta / Hindustan Times / Getty Images
Kapil Mishra, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, addresses a rally against Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government in January 2019. Following the violence that swept northeast Delhi in February 2020, Mishra was accused in several complaints of inciting mobs and instigating a rampage against protesters opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
Sonu Mehta / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Just hours after Kapil Mishra delivered a speech near the Jaffrabad metro station in northeast Delhi, threatening to clear protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader led a rampage by an armed mob less than two kilometres away, in Kardampuri, according to two complaints lodged with the Delhi Police. The complaints noted that on the afternoon of 23 February, Mishra gave an incendiary speech in Kardampuri, calling upon a mob to attack Muslim and Dalit protesters in the area. One of the complainants accused Mishra of brandishing a gun as he instigated the crowd. A third complaint stated that on the morning after Mishra’s speech, police officials attacked protesters in Chand Bagh on his instructions. The complainant wrote that just before the police began their attack, she heard an assistant commissioner of police assure Mishra over the phone, “Don’t worry, we will strew the streets with their dead bodies such that it will be remembered for generations.”

Mishra, a former member of legislative assembly from Delhi’s Karawal Nagar constituency, is just one of several BJP leaders named in complaints that have been filed with the Delhi Police. The Caravan is in possession of numerous complaints filed in February and March by residents of northeast Delhi, who wrote that they witnessed violence perpetrated by or at the behest of BJP leaders. Several complaints were copied to the prime minister’s office, the ministry of home affairs, the Delhi lieutenant governor’s office and multiple police stations. Many of them bore the stamp of the office or station that received the complaint, sometimes bearing multiple receiving stamps. The other BJP leaders named in these complaints include Satya Pal Singh, a member of parliament from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat constituency who previously served as the commissioner of police in Mumbai; Nand Kishore Gujjar, UP’s MLA from Loni; Mohan Singh Bisht, the MLA from Delhi’s Karawal Nagar constituency; and Jagdish Pradhan, a former Delhi MLA from the Mustafabad constituency, who was defeated in the assembly elections held weeks before the violence broke out.

One of the complaints, stamped as received by the office of Delhi’s commissioner of police, the MHA, the PMO and the LG’s office, was filed on 24 February, the day after Mishra’s speech. The complainant, Mohammad Jami Rizvi, a resident of northeast Delhi’s Yamuna Vihar neighbourhood, wrote that at around 2 pm on 23 February, a crowd of around twenty five people encouraged Mishra to attack minorities in Kardampuri. The area was one of several sites where sit-in protests against the National Register of Citizens and the CAA were ongoing at the time. That day, the site witnessed greater participation on account of a Bharat Bandh, or all-India strike, protesting a Supreme Court judgment denying reservations in promotions for public posts as a fundamental right. Rizvi wrote that the crowd standing with Mishra shouted provocative slogans:

Kapil Mishra tum lathh bajao, hum tumhare saath hai
Lambe-lambe latth bajao, hum tumhare saath hai
Kheech-kheech ke latth bajao, hum tumhare saath hai
Mullo par tum lath bajao, hum tumhare saath hai
Chamaaro par tum latth bajao, hum tumhare saath hai

(Kapil Mishra, you beat them with sticks, we are with you
Beat them with long sticks, we are with you
Beat them with full force, we are with you
Beat the Muslims, we are with you
Beat the Dalits, we are with you)

Rizvi added that Mishra then went on to address the crowd with similarly hateful rhetoric. “Kapil Mishra and his accomplices, who were carrying guns, swords and tridents, spears, sticks, stones and glass bottles et cetera, were chanting casteist and communal slogans,” and walking towards the protest site, he wrote. “Mishra then addressed the crowd, ‘Those who clean the toilets of our homes, should we now place them on a pedestal?’ His accomplices shouted in response, ‘Absolutely not.’ Then Kapil Mishra said, ‘These Muslims were first protesting CAA and NRC, and now they even started protesting for reservation. Now we will have to teach them a lesson.’”

Prabhjit Singh is a contributing writer at The Caravan.

Keywords: Delhi Violence Bharatiya Janata Party communal violence Anti-CAA Protests Citizenship (Amendment) Act Islamophobia Dead and Buried
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