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: