Perhaps Delhi Police needs to take a relook at its list of those killed in the North East Delhi communal violence. According to veteran activist and CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member, Brinda Karat, there is “a serious inaccuracy in the police account of the number of those killed in the communal violence in February in North East Delhi”. She has stated that while the numerous affidavits placed before the courts, and also in the public statements Delhi police officials have said that the number of those killed in the riots is 53. These include those registered as “unknown” earlier but were later identified. However, there may be more.
Karat has now written to the Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava on the “inaccuracy” and given an example of one “Sikander” who was killed in the communal riots but whose name has not been included in the list. He died on February 27, 2020, and his inquest papers (quoted in the post mortem report no 435/2020,) state “alleged history of being found in unconscious state below flyover Khajuri chowk on 27/2 at 11.30 am following which the individual was brought to GTB (illegible) where he was declared brought dead.”
However, according to Karat’s letter the victim was not identified till March19 by his brother Md. Ishfaque. After the identification, Sikander has been identified as a victim, by name, but is still not on the list of those who were killed in the communal violence in Delhi in February 2020. Such omissions deny the family justice, and compensation. It is fair to assume that there may be more such riot victims whose names may have been omitted from the list of the dead.
Brinda Karat has raised the crucial issue with the police chief and written a detailed letter to him on Thursday. The letter was later released to the media by the CPI(M) Central Committee Office. It may be read here:
The Commissioner of Police
Shri S. N. Srivastava ji,
I write to draw your attention to a serious inaccuracy in the police account of the number of those killed in the communal violence in February in north-east Delhi. In various affidavits before the court and in public statements made by the Delhi police officials from time to time the number of those killed has been put at 53. These include those registered earlier as “unknown” but who were later identified by the police.
However one of those killed Sikander s/o Muhammed Mullak (illegible) has not been included in the list. He was killed on 27-2-2020. In his inquest papers (quoted in the post mortem report no 435/2020,) it is stated “ “alleged history of being found in unconscious state below flyover Khajuri chowk on 27/2 at 11.30 am following which the individual was brought to GTB (illegible) where he was declared brought dead..” However he was not identified till March19 by his brother Md. Ishfaque. After the identification, the original DD as unknown DD 39 A dated 27/2 was registered on 19/3 under the name of Sikander. In other words in police records Sikander has been identified as victim, by name on 19/3.
The postmortem report shows that he died of serious head injuries.
Sikander’s brother Md. Ishfaque has made numerous visits to the Khajuri Khas police station to ask for a copy of the FIR. However he has been told that no FIR has been filed. One of the police personnel reportedly said that “ the compensation will be managed” and his name “adjusted” in the list.
The family has been through terrible trauma. Ishfaque’s shop in Bhajanpura was burnt and looted. His sister’s home in Ghonda was attacked and looted. And the youngest sibling Sikander was killed. Instead of treating the family with sympathy, the Delhi police by not registering Sikander as a victim has worsened their plight.
This is to request you to immediately intervene to (1) correct the list of numbers of those killed given to the High Court and include the name of Sikander, which makes it 54 killed (2) to give a copy of the FIR to Sikander’s family (3) to take action against those police personnel responsible for the inaccuracy and harassment of the victim’s family.