Letter to Arvind Kejriwal demanding an independent probe into the Delhi Violence

Shri Arvind Kejriwalji,

Namaskar.

We, citizens of the national Capital, belonging to various walks of life write to you to express our grave disquiet and concern about the unfair, unjust, one sided and manufactured “investigation” by the Delhi police, the crime branch and the special police into the communal violence in north east Delhi. We write to request you to order an independent investigation under a retired judge of suitable stature with a time bound mandate. The terms of reference should include various aspects of the violence. We are committed to ensure punishment to those guilty of the violence and we believe an independent inquiry will help such a process. Since this letter is digitally endorsed please consider it signed by all of us whose names are given below.

The grounds are as under:

1. The Delhi Minority Commission (DMC) in its detailed report released recently has described a version of events which is in total contrast and variance with the claims made by the Delhi police. The Commission has recommended the setting up of an independent inquiry. The State Government should accept this recommendation.

2. The Delhi police functions directly under the Home Ministry. The Home Minister himself had led the highly communal election campaign in Delhi which was a prelude to the violence and in fact his speech has been quoted in the DMC report. There is a clear conflict of interest between getting to the truth and defending the leaders of the ruling party at the centre. Several BJP leaders including Ministers in the Central Government, MPs and other leaders like Kapil Mishra had made hate speeches but not a single FIR has been filed. On the contrary the Delhi police have officially declared that such speeches which sow enmity between two communities and incite violence are not “cognizable offences.” However selective excerpts of speeches made by activists are used to name them in charge sheets. Such are the double standards of the police. An independent inquiry would help to pin down the role of different political functionaries.

3. The Delhi police have declared that they are “even handed” in the number of arrests of accused belonging to both communities. However their own figures show that the losses and damage are overwhelmingly borne by the minority community. In such a scenario “even handed” means to whitewash the facts. Moreover, the Delhi police have issued a formal letter to police officers asking them to be cautious in arresting Hindus since “complaints” have been received of arrests from community leaders. It is therefore clear that the pressure not to arrest those accused of violence even if they have been named is accepted by the Delhi police. This is a shocking exposure of being “not even handed.” These double standards show that the Delhi police seeks to implement a political agenda–which is to conceal the role played by BJP leaders in the communal violence. Thus the importance of an independent inquiry.

4. The Delhi police is anchoring the current investigations under the three SITs which have been formed by them. However the Delhi police, notwithstanding their report that over 100 police personnel were injured in the violence, is itself accused in several cases of dereliction of duty, connivance and partisanship and in some cases of directly participating in violence against the minority community. Much of this is in the public domain through videos and press reports including the infamous incident in which injured young Muslim men were beaten, forced to sing the national anthem by uniformed policemen and then arrested leading to the death of one of them. Yet in their written rejoinders to several petitions in Court, the Delhi police have said that they have so far found no evidence against the police. Clearly no inquiry into the role of the police can have credibility if it is conducted by the police themselves. In this case the accused and the investigators belong to the same team. Thus the need for an independent inquiry.

5. On the basis of this one sided investigation grave injustice is being done to the democratic right to dissent. The entire chronology concocted by the Delhi police is to somehow link the communal violence in the third week of February to the anti-CAA movement starting in December and in particular the incidents in Jamia University. Activists who were part of the anti-CAA movement, which was in the main a historic peaceful protest are being egregiously linked to the communal violence. Many have been booked under the draconian UAPA and are denied bail. Others are being harassed by different wings of the police. In addition local youth of the minority community are being harassed and picked up on flimsy grounds. This is all based on the false chronology of events being manufactured by the Delhi police at the behest of their political masters. Therefore an independent inquiry will also help defend and strengthen the democratic rights enshrined in our constitution.

6. In such cases in the past there have usually been independent inquiries set up by the State Government concerned. It is true that in Delhi because of the various constraints imposed by the present centralized structure under the Lieutenant Governor answerable to the Central Government, there are problems faced by the State Government. However, under the present constitutional framework the State Government has every right and the powers to institute such an inquiry. Therefore we reiterate and urge you to set up an independent and time bound inquiry into the communal violence in north east Delhi. This will go a long way in restoring the confidence that justice will be done.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,

Air Vice Marshal (Retd) N.I. Razzaqui (AVSM); Muchkund Dubey, (Former Foreign Secretary); Wajahat Habibullah, (IAS retd. Former Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities and first Chief Commissioner RTI); Brinda Karat, (Polit Bureau member, CPI(M)); Harsh Mander, (Social Activist, Author and Columnist); H.K. Dua, (Senior Journalist); Mrinal Pande, (Senior Journalist & Author); Dr. Sayeda Hameed, (Former Member Planning Commission); Shyam Menon (former VC Ambedkar University, Delhi); Githa Hariharan (Author); Swami Agnivesh; Prabhat Patnaik (Professor Emeritus, JNU) & Jayati Ghosh (Professor, CESP, JNU).

Other signatories to the above letter are as under:

Abha Dev Habib, Treasurer, Delhi University Teachers’ Association

Aejaz Ahmad Rather, Former General Secretary, JNUSU

Ahmar Raza, Retd Scientist, Ministry of Renewable Energy, GOI

Aishe Ghosh, President, JNUSU

Ajay Malik, Political Activist, New Delhi

Akshat Seth, Secretary, SFI JNU Unit

Akshaya Mukul, Journalist and Author

Albeena Shakil, Professor  

Ali Javed,  President PWA

Amisha Madnani, Student

Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, JNU

Amit Thorat, CSRD, JNU

Anamitra Roy Chowdhury, Assistant Professor, SSS, JNU

Anand Chakravarti, Academic, Delhi University

Anand Saxena, Associate Professor, DDU College, DU

Ananya Vajpeyi, Scholar DU

Angad Tiwari, Shri Aurobindo College, DU

Anil, Researcher DU

Anil Kumar, Motilal Nehru College

Anish Vanaik, O. P. Jindal Global University

Anita Dube, Artist and Curator

Aniyan PV, CITU, Delhi

Anjali Ojha, Journalist

Dr Annie Koshi, Educationist, Delhi

Ann Varavukala, Special Education, Vasant Kunj

AnuradhaKapur, Theatre Director, Academic

Anuradha Marwah, Associate Professor, ZHDC, Delhi University

Anurag Saxena , General Secretary, Delhi State CITU

Anuvinda Varkey, Lawyer, VasantKunj

Archana Prasad, Professor, JNU

Arindam Banerjee, Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi

Arpita Das, Publisher

Asha Sharma, General Secretary, Janwadi Mahila Samiti, Delhi

Ashlin Mathew, Journalist, Delhi

Ashwini Ailawadi, Creative Director

Ashok Aggarwal, Lawyer, Delhi

Atul Sood, Professor, SSS, JNU

Avinash Kumar, Assistant Professor in Political Studies, JNU

Ayesha Kidwai, Professor, JNU

Dr. Ayushya Kaul, Peace and Conflict Studies, JMI

Azizulla Baig, IAS (Retired) Delhi

Badri Raina, Writer, Delhi

Banjyotsna Lahiri, Ambedkar University Delhi

Benny Kuruvilla, Researcher, Delhi

Benston John, Assistant Professor, St. Stephen's College, DU

Bharati Jagannathan, Miranda House, DU

Bharti Ali, Child Rights Activist, New Delhi

Bhupinder Chaudhary, Maharaja Agrasen College, DU

Bolan Gangopadhyay, Freelance Journalist, Delhi

Brahm Prakash, Assistant Professor, SAA, JNU

Brajkishore Jha, Environmentalist

Bratati Pande, Academician (Retd) DU

Chander Prabha, Academician (Retd) DU

Charu Soni, Independent Journalist, Delhi

Chirashree Dasgupta, Associate Professor, JNU

Deb Mukherjee, IFS, Former Indian Ambassador to Bangladesh

Debjani Sengupta, Associate Professor, IP College, DU

Deepak Jakhar, Advocate

Deo Kumar, Rajdhani College, DU

Devaki Khanna (Freelance Editor) Delhi

Dharmendra Kumar Verma, Secretary, Delhi State Committee, AIFB

Dhruv Raina, Professor, SSS, JNU

Dinesh Abrol, Former Chief Scientist NISTADS CSIR, Delhi

Dinesh Varshney, Secretary, Delhi State Council, CPI

Doorva Vajpeyi ,Self Employed, Delhi

Dr. Navnith Mani, General Surgeon

Faizan Alam, Anhad, Delhi

Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist, Delhi

FarazAhmad, Journalist

Faredoon Bhujwala,  Performer / Facilitator, Delhi

Garima Bhardwaj, Advocate

Gauhar Mahmud, Academician JMI, Delhi

Gautam Mody, New Trade Union Initiative, New Delhi

Geeta Kapur, Art Historian, Delhi

Geeta Seshu, co-editor, Free Speech Collective, Delhi

Giriraj Bairwa, Rajdhani College

Harsh Kumar Mehra, Advocate

Hasan Abdullha, writer

Harsimar Chawla, Activist, Delhi

Illyas Hussain,  Department of History,  JMI, Delhi

Indu Prakash, Social Activist, Delhi

Dr. Indu Prakash Singh, President, Forum Against Corruption & Threats (FACT) Delhi

Jagdeep Chhokar, Association for Democratic Reforms, Delhi

Jatin Sheth, Convener Nagrik Sashaktikaran Manch, Delhi

Jawarimal Parakh, Retd. Professor, IGNOU,

John Dayal, Journalist & Social Activist, Delhi

Jose Varavukala Information Technology Consultant, VasantKunj

Jyoti Punwani, Freelance Journalist

Jyoti Sabharwal, Associate Professor, Dept of Germanic & Romance Studies, DU

K P Fabian, Former Ambassador

Kaiser Shamim, Retd Professor, NCERT.

Kali Chittibabu, Assistant Professor, SSS, JNU

Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Retd Professor, JNU

Kamala Menon, Delhi Science Forum

Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA

Kausar Wizarat, Retd Lecturer, NCERT.

Ketaki Varma, Arts Manager and Researcher, Delhi

Keval Arora, Associate Professor, Delhi University

Kirti Jain, Theatreperson, Delhi

Kirti Singh, Senior Lawyer

KM Tiwari, Secretary CPIM, Delhi State Committee

Krishna Sengupta, Rd. Teacher DU

Kuldeep Kumar, Hindi Poet and Freelance Journalist, Accredited to PIB, GOI

Lata Singh, Associate Professor, SSS, JNU

Leher Sethi, Secretary – Indian Council for Human Relations

MMP Singh, General Secretary, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh

Madhavi Menon, Professor, Ashoka University

Madhu Bhaduri, Ambassador of India (Retd)

Madhu Prasad, Academician (Retd) DU

Maduresh Kumar, National Alliance of Peoples Movements.

Mahendra Singh, Academician (Retd) DU

Maimoona Mollah, President, Delhi State Janwadi Mahila Samiti

Majid Jamil, Professor, JMI, New Delhi

Major S L Parjapati (Veteran), Gurgaon

Makarand Sathe, Writer

Mala Dayal, Editor & Publisher

MallikaTaneja, Theatre Person

Manglesh Dabral, Hindi Poet

Manishi Jani , Writer-Filmmaker

Manjari Kaul, Theatre Artist

Mannika Chopra, Journalist

Mayank Kumar, Satyawati College, DU

Meera Rizvi, Media Professional

Mona Mishra, Senior Advisor to the UN

Monami Basu, Assistant Professor, Kamala Nehru College

Motiur Rahman, DU

Moushumi Basu, Faculty, School of International Studies, JNU

Mridula Koshy, Writer and Librarian

Naina Dayal, Assistant Professor, St. Stephen’s College, DU

Nakul Singh Sawhney, Filmmaker

Nandini Sundar, University of Delhi

Nandita Haksar, Senior Lawyer

Nandita Narain, Associate Professor, St. Stephen’s College, DU

Naresh Jatan, Theatre Person

Nathu Prasad, Secretary, Delhi State Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch

Neel Chaudhuri, Playwright

Neelima Sharma, Theatre Personality

Neera Chandhoke, Former Professor DU

Neha Nehan, Advocate

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, Independent Writer & Journalist

Niranjani Iyer, Theatre Artist

Nivedita Menon, Professor  JNU

N S Goswami, Academician (Retd) DU

Nuzhat Kazmi, Professor, JMI

Padam Kumar, Advocate

Pamela Philipose, Journalist, New Delhi

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Independent Journalist

Paromita Shastri, Independent Journalist

PMS Grewal, CPI(M) Delhi

Pooja Lal, Gargi College, DU

Poonam Kaushik, Pragitisheel Mahila Sangathan

Poonam Girdhani, Theatre artist

Prabhu Mohapatra, Dept of History, DU

Prachi Jha, Activist New Delhi

Pradeep Shinde, Assistant Professor, SSS, JNU

Praveen Jha, Professor JNU

Pritish Menon, Secretary, Delhi State SFI

Prof DN Jha, Historian, Delhi

Prof. J. P. Shrivastava, Delhi University

Purnima Rao, Library Activist, New Delhi

Qaiser Shamim, Academic

Qurban Ali, Journalist

Radhika Kapoor, activist, Delhi

D Raghunandan,  Delhi Science Forum

Rahul Ram, Musician

Rahul Verma, Advocate

Rajeev Kunwar, Associate Professor, Dyal Singh College, DU

Rajendra Prasad, Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust

Rakhi Sehgal, Labour Researcher & Activist, Delhi

Ram Rahman, Photographer

Rama Baru, Professor, SSS, JNU

Ranjana Nirula, CITU

Ravinder Goel, Former Teacher DU

Ravi Rai, Secretary, CPI-ML, Delhi State Committee

Rekha Awasthi, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Delhi

Renu Bala, Associate Professor  ARSD College, DU

Revati Laul, Journalist

Rita Manchanda, Consulting Research Director, South Asia Forum for Human Rights

Rithambara Shastri, Journalist

Ritu Menon, Publisher

Rohit Khanna, journalist

Rudrashish Chakraborty, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi

Rushda Siddiqui, President, Delhi State NFIW

Sachi Chaturvedi, Citizen, Delhi

Sachidanand Sinha, JNU

Sahba Hussain,  Activist, Delhi

Saiful Khan, Delhi State Committee, RSP

Saikat Ghosh, SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi

Saket Moon, Vice President, JNUSU

Samina Mishra, Filmmaker, Writer & Teacher, Delhi

Dr. Sandhya Kumari, Associate Professor of Law, School of Law, Galgotias University,

Sangeeta Luthra, Academic

Sania Hashmi, Secretary, Jana Natya Manch, Delhi & Filmmaker

Sanjay Srivastava, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi.

Sanjaya Kumar Bohidar, SRCC, DU

Sanjeev, Bahujan Samajwadi Manch, Delhi

Sanjeev Kumar, Joint General Secretary, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh

Sarika Chaudhary, Former Vice President, JNUSU

Saumyajit Bhattacharya, KMC, DU

Savithri Singh, former Principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College, DU

SehbaFarooqui, JMS, Delhi

Dr Seema Alam, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi

Shabnam Hashmi, activist Anhad

Shamsul Islam, Historian, Delhi

C. Saratchand, Satyavati College, DU

Shastri Ramachandran, Journalist

Shaswati Mazumdar, Former Professor, Delhi University

Sheodutt, Shaheed Bhagat Singh (Eve.) College, University of Delhi

Shreya Bhardwaj, PR Executive, Delhi

Shubhra Chaturvedi, Artist and Photographer

Shukla Sawant , Faculty, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU

Shyista Khan, Associate Professor, DU

Sideshwar Shukla, Associate Professor,  Delhi University

S. Irfan Habib, Scientist & Historian

Smita Gupta, Economist and Activist, New Delhi

Sohail Hashmi, Filmmaker, Writer, Historian, Dlehi

Som Dutt Sharma, Lawyer, Delhi

Sonya Surabhi Gupta, Professor of Latin American Studies, JMI, Delhi

Srimanjari, Miranda House, University of Delhi

Subhash Chandran KR, Lawyer, Supreme Court

Subhojeet Dey, Treasurer, AUDSU

Subir Banerjee,  CPIM Delhi

Sucharita Sen, Professor, SSS, JNU

Sudhanva Deshpande, Publisher and Theatre Person, Delhi

Suhas Borker, Convener, Working Group on Alternative Strategies, Delhi

Sujata Raghavan, Development Writer, Delhi

Sujata Shakeel, Independent Journalist, Delhi

Sujeet Kumar, DCAC, DU

Suman Arya , Little India Foundation, Delhi

Sumit Kataria, President, Delhi State SFI

Sundaram Shukla, Academician (Retd) DU

Prof Sunil Kumar, Department of History, Delhi University

Sunil Kumar, Advocate

Suranya Aiyar, Child rights activist, Delhi

Surajit Majumdar, Professor, JNU

Sushil Swatantra, Journalist and Activist, Delhi

Svati Joshi,  Academic, Delhi

Swati Goswami, Content Writer, Delhi

T.M. Thomas, Academician (Retd) DU

Tanvir Aeijaz, Associate Professor Ramjas College, DU

Themeem T, Asst Professor of English, St Stephen’s College, Delhi

Udaya Kumar, Professor, JNU

Uma Chakravarti, Professor, Historian, Activist, Delhi

Unnimaya, General Secretary, LSRSU, Delhi

V. S. Dixit, ARSD College, DU

Valay Singh, Journalist and Author, Delhi

Dr Vandana Prasad, Public Health Professional, Delhi    

Venkatesh Nayak, Transparency Advocate, Delhi

Venu Arora, Media Rights Activist, Delhi

Vijay Kiyawat, IIT engineer, Retired Corporate Executive, New Delhi

Vijaya Venkataraman, Dept of Germanic & Romance Studies, DU

Dr Vikas Bajpai, Assistant Professor, CSMCH, JNU

Vikas Rawal, Prof. CESP, JNU

Virender Lal, Academician (Retd) DU

Vivan Sundaram, Artist, Delhi

Vivek Mohan, DCAC, DU

Vivekanand Tripathi, Social Activist

Vivian Fernandes, Journalist, Delhi

Vrinda Sharma, Student, Delhi

Yousuf Saeed, Filmmaker, New Delhi

Zeenat Niazi , Activist, VasantKunj, Delhi

Ziauddin, Lawyer, Delhi

Zoya Hasan, Former Professor, JNU, Delh