Rejoinder: Delhi Police’s whataboutery does not deny the allegations against BJP leaders in Delhi violence

27 June 2020

On 21 June, The Caravan published an article titled, “Dead and Buried: Delhi Police ignored complaints against Kapil Mishra, other BJP leaders for leading mobs in Delhi violence,” by an independent journalist, Prabhjit Singh. The article reproduced complaints filed by residents of northeast Delhi following the communal violence that swept the region in February. It noted that several complaints accused Bharatiya Janata Party leaders—namely, Kapil Mishra, Satya Pal Singh, Jagdish Pradhan, Nand Kishore Gujjar and Mohan Singh Bisht—of participating in or orchestrating the violence, and that the Delhi Police had not pursued these complaints. The Caravan sent the Delhi Police detailed queries ahead of the publication of the article, regarding the allegations against the leaders and whether the police had acted on them. The Delhi Police did not respond to these queries. Relevant queries were also sent to the BJP leaders named in the complaints, some of whom responded and said that the police had never contacted them as part of any investigation into these complaints.

On 26 June, the Delhi Police tweeted a response to the article, as a reply to a tweet by The Caravan. Interestingly, in a response that claims the Delhi Police “effectively controlled” the violence that killed at least 53 persons, the police first tweeted a response that stated the violence took place “in the first week of February 2020,” before deleting it and posting another tweet rectifying the error, without noting that it had been changed.

Both versions of the rejoinder responded to the contents of the 21 June article, but incorrectly stated that Singh’s article was published on 24 June. That day, The Caravan had, in fact, published a second story in its ongoing series about the complaints arising from the Delhi violence. The second article focused on the allegations against senior Delhi Police officials. Ahead of this article as well, The Caravan had sent the Delhi Police a detailed set of queries. The police did not respond to the earlier queries nor the second set of questions—and it is yet to tweet a rejoinder to it.

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    Prabhjit Singh is a contributing writer at The Caravan.

    Keywords: Delhi Police Delhi Violence Anti-CAA Protests Bharatiya Janata Party Kapil Mishra communal violence Dead and Buried