The Indian Express – Independent MLA withdraws support from Haryana government, calls Khattar ‘leader of corrupt’

“There is a major difference in what CM Khattar says and what he does,” Balraj Kundu said.

Chandigarh – Haryana – India, 28 February 2020. Haryana’s independent MLA from Meham constituency Balraj Kundu announced his withdrawal of support from the BJP-JJP government in the Vidhan Sabha on Friday.

Referring to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar as “bhrashtachariyon ka mukhiya” (leader of corrupt), Kundu submitted his two-page letter to Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, immediately after the Question Hour concluded in the ongoing Haryana Vidhan Sabha budget session.

“After getting elected from Meham, I had discussed with people of my constituency and given my support to an honest Chief Minister and an honest government. Considering Manohar Lal as a truthful leader, I wanted to work with him with utmost honesty and wanted to fight against corruption for the development of my constituency,” Kundu wrote.

Kundu, who had accused a former BJP minister in two alleged scams, said, “I thought that the chief minister will take stern action against the corrupt former BJP minister.

I had full faith that the CM will take strict action in the sugarcane mills scam and against those who indulged in disturbing communal harmony of the state during Jat reservation agitation.

But, on February 2, the way in which a clean chit was given to that corrupt minister, it becomes clear that there is a major difference in what the CM says and what he does.”

Continuing his tirade, the MLA added, “I do not have any hesitation to say that all this is happening with the blessings of CM Khattar. He is only doing a show-off of honesty.

If I may, I’ll say that the CM is the leader of these corrupt and I am extremely anguished after seeing this face of his. I am a representative of people and member of Vidhan Sabha.

When a voice raised by him is snubbed like this, then how would voice of a common man reach anywhere? I have come to politics to become the voice of a common man, a poor man. I followed honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘na khaunga, na khaane doonga’ policy.

But right under his nose, if his government’s representatives are shielding an anaconda of corruption, then I cannot support such a government. Hence, I withdraw support”.

Alleging that the state’s cooperative sugar mills had recorded a loss of Rs 3,300 crore, Kundu has time and again raised the issue in the House. However, it only led to a heated exchange between him and the CM, to which latter replied, “You may go to the court.

There is a clean chit from my side.” On Wednesday, Kundu had accused Rohtak Medical College’s Vice-Chancellor O P Kalra of indulging in “corrupt practices” and demanded stern action against him.

Later, on the sidelines of the House proceedings yesterday, Khattar had said that he would speak to Kundu, but he added: “We are open to ordering a probe if there is credible preliminary evidence to support his allegations. But if there is no evidence, there is no point in ordering any inquiry.”

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/haryana-meham-mla-balraj-kundu-manohar-lal-khattar-haryana-corruption-6291296/

Sikh24.com – Issue of harassing Kartarpur pilgrims by Punjab police echoes in Punjab assembly

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 February 2020. Amid reports emerging about harassment of Sikh pilgrims returning from Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib via newly built corridor, the opposition MLAs today created an uproar in the Punjab assembly. Some of them stormed of House well while others staged walkout from the assembly.

It is pertinent to note here that two Sikhs namely Hardeep Singh and Ranjit Singh of village Dehriwal Dogra (Gurdaspur) had paid obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib on January 25. Next day, the Punjab police cops stormed into their house and asked them to report at the local police station.

At the police station, they were questioned about the treatment by Pakistan officials and who they met. Beside this, two such other cases have also come to fore in which the pilgrims were harassed by questioning at police stations.

Raising the issue in assembly during zero hour, SAD leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon cited a media report about this and sought a reply from the Congress led Punjab government. Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia sought the suspension of Gurdaspur’s senior superintendent of police and a station house officer.

Aam Aadmi Party legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan described the questioning of pilgrims as “shameful” and sought the immediate dismissal of Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta over this.

However, Congress minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa defended the cops by saying that they questioned pilgrims following an input by the Intelligence Bureau. He quoted a letter written on 17 February by an Intelligence Bureau official to the Gurdaspur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), seeking the questioning of some pilgrims.

Meanwhile, IG (Border Range) SPS Parmar has refuted the allegations of harassing pilgrims and has said that the Punjab police don’t have any intention of hurting a genuine pilgrim.

Issue of harassing Kartarpur pilgrims by Punjab police echoes in Punjab assembly

Gent Gurdwara – Khalsa Sewa Society – Gent-Sint-Pieter

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Khalsa Sewa Society
12 January 2020


Khalsa Sewa Society
Raising funds for the education of Sikhligars


My friends from the Netherlands


My friends from the Netherlands

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Kortrijksepoortstraat 49B
9000 Gent – Oost-Vlaanderen

Gent-Sint-Pieter
15 January 2020


Aalst – Brussel Airport – Leuven – Landen


Trains at both sides of the platform


The IC to Brussel Airport – Leuven and Landen on its way

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Huffington Post – Delhi Riots: How a Sikh hero transported dozens of Muslim neighbours to safety

Mohinder Singh took exceptional steps to ensure the safety of Muslim residents in one of the worst-hit neighbourhoods in the Delhi Riots.

Betwa Sharma

New Delhi – India, 24 February 2020. On 24 February, as the worst communal violence since the 1984 Sikh riots swept Delhi, Mohinder Singh and Inderjit Singh used a Bullet motorcycle and scooty to transport somewhere between 60 to 80 of their Muslim neighbours to a safe location.

The father and son duo say they had sensed the situation was spiralling out of control in the Hindu-dominated neighbourhood of Gokalpuri in northeast Delhi, and started moving their terrified neighbors in batches to the nearest Muslim locality of Kardampur, one kilometer away.

Mohinder Singh, 53, said that his son was on the Bullet motorcycle and he was on the scooty, and they made around 20 trips each from Gokalpuri to Kardampur in one hour. When it was women and children, they took three to four of them at a time. When it was men and boys, they took two or three at a time. For some of the boys, they tied Sikh turbans to conceal they were Muslim.

“I did not see Hindu or Muslim,” said Singh, who runs an electronics store and is a father to two children.

“I just saw people. I saw little children. I felt like they were my children and that nothing should happen to them. We did this because we all should act humanely and help those in need. What more can I say?” he said.

Gokalpuri saw some of the worst violence in the three days of rioting, which has left almost 40 people dead. Head constable Ratan Lal died of a bullet injury that he sustained here. Muslim shops, houses and a mosque were torched and looted here. The Muslims who fled are yet to return.

The “sardars” are now famous among the Muslims of Kardampur, where Huffington Post India heard about them.

Their story offers a rare heartwarming tale in a grieving city torn apart by the riots. For Singh, who was 13 years old when the horrific anti-Sikh riots swept through the city, the violence last weekend was a grisly reminder of the past. His incredible bravery offers hope that not all is lost at a time when India seems more divided than ever before.

“I have lived through the hell that was 1984,” Singh said. “Those memories have been revived.”

There were very few shops open in Gokalpuri market on 27 February, five days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra made a hate speech against people protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which is now regarded as the trigger for the violence.

Singh had opened his electronic store for the first time since the riots on 27 February.

Smiling at this reporter’s repeated queries about what motivated him and his son to make so many trips to save his neighbors, Singh said, “You have to understand that this is the belief and culture of our community. You may have heard the expression: Nanak aam chardi kala, tere bahne sarbat da bhala. Sarbat da bhala means that we want everyone to prosper.

We did this to honour humanity and our 10 gurus whose central message is that we should act for everyone to prosper.”

What happened

It was around five in the evening on 24 February when tensions spiked in Gokalpuri, Singh said, giving a blow-by-blow account of what happened in his neighborhood that evening.

It started with people chanting Jai Shri Ram, and raising slogans in praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and calling for “traitors” to be shot, said Singh. Their numbers swelled quickly.

The Muslims of Gokalpuri panicked and gathered at their local mosque, the Jamia Arabia Madinatul Uloom mosque, that would be set on fire and looted later that night.

After the meeting, the Muslims decided they would leave immediately. Singh said he offered them protection and asked them to consider staying back, but they told him the people who wanted to harm them were likely to be more than those willing risk their own lives to save them.

The Muslims of Gokalpuri were terrified they would not be able to make it past Hindu mob that had commandeered the main road outside the locality. That is when Singh and his son stepped in, offering to ferry 60 to 80 of them to the closest Muslim locality.

Given how quickly the situation was worsening, father and son decided there was no time to get their car from the parking lot. They would have to make do with their motorcycle and scooty.

“We don’t think we did anyone a favour,” said Singh. “We didn’t do it for praise or for thanks. We did it because it was the right thing to do.” “We did this to honour humanity and our 10 gurus whose central message is that we should act for everyone to prosper.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/delhi-riots-sikh-hero_in_5e58d37cc5b6beedb4e96580?ncid=other_twitter_cooo9wqtham&utm_campaign=share_twitter

The Hindu – Mobs and rulers masquerading as leaders cannot be allowed to dismantle a marvellously democratic experiment

It can be safely presumed that an American President was invited to our shores because we wanted him to see for himself our ‘new India’. And, it can also be asserted with confidence that the India the visitor from Washington ended up seeing was an old India, drenched in medieval animosities and passions.

And, if it is to be assumed, as is being suggested by the ruling party’s apologists, that a ‘conspiracy’ was afoot to mar the Donald Trump visit then we are staring at a terrible failure of all our institutional arrangements and of our rulers’ pretentious assertions.

This failure has been in the making for some time now, and can get only aggravated because our cunning political saviours remain indifferent to their obligation to strive for healing and harmony in society.

De-legitimising a movement

The rough and ready violence, witnessed in Delhi these last few days, had almost become a certainty because with each passing day it was becoming imperative to de-legitimise Shaheen Bagh and the resistance it came to symbolise against a flawed and discriminatory law like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, 2019.

For over two months, the entire nation has seen images of Muslim women, old and young, staying put, peacefully, braving Delhi’s winter, refusing to get provoked by threats or temptations.

Shaheen Bagh also saw Muslims innovatively using ‘national’ symbols, the Constitution, the Flag and the Anthem, to assert their rights as citizens and as a religious minority. Soon ‘Shaheen Bagh’ became a secular project, even though the ‘boots’ were provided mostly by the Muslim community.

A new civic imagination was at work, and, what was more, ‘Shaheen Bagh’ also acquired a moral sheen and attracted global media attention. And, before the managers of ‘new India’ could catch their breath, Muslim women across the land were replicating ‘Shaheen Baghs’ in towns and cities.

A new defiance was crawling its way to the centre of our political landscape. This was deeply galling to those who thought they had the dominant control over the street, the media and the national imagination.

The Shaheen Bagh experiment and its peacefulness became deeply frustrating for those who had conceptualised the new citizenship law as a clever project in political polarisation. Even more exasperating for these self-styled chankayas was a failure to cast Shaheen Bagh as a case of “Muslim uprising”.

Shaheen Bagh became a perplexing affront to our new rulers who have come to believe that state repression can overcome any political dissent and democratic resistance. Shaheen Bagh, with all its imaginative invocation of republican values and secular chants, had become an ideological eye-sore to the impresarios of a ‘New India.’ Something had to give.

After the election rebuff

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership, overloaded with self-belief, saw an opportunity in the Delhi Assembly election. From the Union Home Minister downward, the BJP leaders, from all over India, were commandeered for election duty in Delhi where they worked themselves into frenzy, inciting violence and invoking ‘deshbhakti’.

The voters were invited to send out a message to the Shaheen Bagh protesters. The BJP strategy was to convert the Delhi Assembly polls into a referendum on its politics of religious polarisation and the presumed popularity of its leaders. The Delhi voters denied, firmly and clearly, the BJP this endorsement.

Undaunted by the humiliating defeat, the BJP leadership and its cheer-leaders refused to acknowledge the rebuff, and, instead, chose to take comfort from the party’s vote-share and applied itself once again to provoking the Shaheen Bagh constituency. What followed was BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s ultimatum to the Delhi Police to clear the roads of anti-CAA protesters in Jaffrabad.

Perhaps the BJP leadership had also shrewdly gauged the unhappiness in the traditional Muslim leadership with the Shaheen Bagh model, the women were in the forefront whereas the mullahs, the imams and maulvis had been pushed into the background. The Shaheen Bagh model is as much a challenge to familiar ‘community leaders’ as it was to the saffron extremists.

The traditional Muslim leaders were losing control over their women and the ‘kaum’. The traditionalists were deeply disconcerted that the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors were engaging with the women at Shaheen Bagh, and not with them.

Nor could the BJP leadership have been unaware that just a few miles across Shaheen Bagh in Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh the police force had been let loose on anti-CAA dissenters.

Tales of excesses by the UP police against the Muslim community floated across the Yamuna, inducing doubts about the efficacy of a peaceful, silent Shaheen Bagh; but worse was the total absence of any institutional restraint on a vindictive regime in Lucknow. Neither the judiciary nor the political parties nor the media nor civil society was able to intervene effectively against a biased, rogue police force.

There was anger, and, helplessness in the Muslim ‘street’. The traditional hotheads knew that Muslim lumpens and under-classes were on a short fuse.

Two extremist factional impulses had a convergence: the coherence and solidarity of the Shaheen Bagh model and its secular promise had to be undermined; the Constitution-waving crowd had to be dissolved into a mob. This convergence finally produced the explosion in Delhi over the weekend. The veterans of the 2002 Gujarat riots perhaps thought that they had a mastery over the art of choreographing street violence.
The sly manipulators can take some comfort that finally the capital has witnessed a full-scale communal riot, first since the 1984 carnage against Sikhs; there must be considerable satisfaction in some quarters that we are back on the familiar Hindu-Muslim divide terrain, with an enticing prospect of a rich electoral dividend.

Defeating sectarianism

But this is also precisely the moment to remind ourselves that this ugly denouement was inevitable, given the Modi regime’s barely concealed commitment to dismantling the inclusive and pluralistic elements of the Nehruvian consensus. And, that is the challenge: are our constitutional institutions and instruments robust enough to roll back a ‘this-land-belongs-to-the Hindus-only’ politics?

A deeply divided society may reward a few practitioners of conspicuous bigotry but it becomes the sacred duty of all our democratic arrangements to defeat a sectarian regime and its perverse policies and priorities.

The other day, a judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Deepak Gupta, came very close to identifying the crux of our, and our rulers’ dilemma. “Rule of majority is an integral part of democracy but majoritarianism is an anti-thesis of democracy,” argued Justice Gupta. The judge reiterated the basic principle: a political party could possibly come to power, winning 51% of the popular vote, but that did not mean that the remaining 49% were to remain dis-empowered for the next five years.

This simple truism should be obvious to one and all, yet it took a Justice Gupta to remind us that the Constitution of India imposes an inescapable obligation on every single office, from the President of India to the Prime Minister down to the lowly police constable, to work for the welfare of all citizens.

It is this kind of clear-headedness that the Shaheen Bagh imagination had sought to re-kindle. The Shaheen Bagh protest is anchored in a hope and a belief that a democratic arrangement can find peaceful ways of addressing the grievances and anxieties of a minority.

And, it would be an unmitigated tragedy for Indian democracy if the violence instigated in Delhi is used to delegitimise Shaheen Bagh’s democratic potential and promise. Inshallah (National Security Adviser Ajit Doval permitting).

Harish Khare is a senior journalist based in Delhi

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/hope-belief-and-the-candles-of-shaheen-bagh/article30935340.ece?homepage=true

The Indian Express – Use your power to protect ‘Raj Dharma’: Congress to President Kovind over Delhi violence

The death toll in the communal violence over the amended Citizenship law has risen to 34 in Delhi, and over 200 people have been injured till date.

New Delhi – India, 27 February 2020. Urging the President to use his power to protect ‘Raj Dharma’, a delegation of senior Congress leaders, led by party chief Sonia Gandhi, presented a memorandum to Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday, seeking removal of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for ‘abdication of duty’ during the violence in the national capital, in which 33 people have died so far.

“Instead of taking active steps to remedy or diffuse the situation, the Central Government as also the newly elected Delhi Government, have remained mute spectators as completely mindless rage, designed violence and organised looting of property has continued unabated,” the memorandum read.

The memorandum stated that the situation is so grim that the Delhi High Court had to step in on Wednesday and remind the Home Ministry and the police of their duty to act against the instigators and rioters. “This is a shameful indictment of the Central Government, the Home Ministry and the Home Minister himself,” it read.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was also part of the delegation, said that they urged the President to use his power to protect ‘Rajdharma’.

Sonia Gandhi said that they felt satisfied after meeting the President as he said he will take cognisance of their demands.

The memorandum further added that though the violence has taken over the course of four days but the seeds of this division have been sown by deliberate, inflammatory remarks made by BJP leaders in the run-up to and even after the Delhi elections.

The death toll in the communal violence has now risen to 33 in Delhi, and over 200 people have been injured.

Congress had on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah, holding him responsible for “a colossal failure of duty”. It added that the Delhi government was equally responsible” for “not activating the administration to reach out to the people to maintain peace and harmony”.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/congress-meets-ram-nath-kovind-delhi-violence-6289204/

The Tribune – Akal Takht extends help to violence-hit people in Delhi

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 26 February 2020. Coming to extend helping hand to violence-hit people of the national capital, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Wednesday asked the Gurdwaras in Delhi to extend all kind of possible help to the victims.

Flaying the violence in Delhi, he said, in a statement, that “the principle of Sikhism is to take care of any victim who comes for help”.

“Violence in Delhi is condemnable. There are reports of deaths and injuries to people. It is principle of Sikhism to take care of any victim who comes for help. The situation in Delhi is serious and so the managements of all Gurdwaras in Delhi should help the victims of violence in this time of grief irrespective of their religion,” he added.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/akal-takht-extends-help-to-violence-hit-people-in-delhi-47585

Gentbrugge – Braemstraat & Gent Gurdwara

Braemstraat – Turkish wedding
11 January 2020


Music and dancing in the street


Music and dancing in the street

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Khalsa Sewa Society
12 January 2020


Reciting Sukhmani Sahib


The Granthi reads one line
The women read the second etc


Now one of the women is taking the lead


Another Sikh from the Netherlands in the Gurdwara
Mera dost Theodorus Singh Teekgur
Khalsa Seva Society

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Kortrijksepoortstraat 49B
9000 Gent – Oost-Vlaanderen

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

OFMI – Hindutva launches war on India’s minorities amidst Trump visit

Muslim neighborhoods in Delhi targeted with extreme violence

New Delhi – India, 26 February 2020. As US President Donald Trump visited India to discuss a trade agreement with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi burned as mobs operating with police protection targeted Muslim neighborhoods throughout the country’s capital.

The violence began on 23 February after a leader in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party threatened to “take to the streets” if police do not clear away sit-in protests against India’s recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act.

“Three days’ ultimatum for Delhi Police: clear the roads in Jaffrabad and Chand Bagh,” said BJP’s Kapil Mishra while standing beside a senior police officer. “After this, don’t make us understand. We won’t listen to you. We will be peaceful till Trump leaves. After that, we won’t listen to even you if the roads are not cleared.”

Within hours, not days, violence erupted as pro-CAA groups took to the streets.

Mobs chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) attacked Muslim-majority neighborhoods of Delhi. Videos show masked, helmeted men armed with poles beating people, hurling stones and petrol bombs, all while police stand idly watching. Houses, shops, buses, and cars have been set on fire.

On 25 February, a mosque was set ablaze while men climbed the minaret to hoist a flag bearing the image of Hindu deity Hanuman. Residents of Delhi claim the violence is instigated by elements affiliated with the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh paramilitary.

Nearly 30 people are dead, hundreds are injured, and even journalists report facing attacks and beatings for filming the violence.

“Hindu nationalists have a history of instigating communal conflict to try and influence American policy towards India,” says Arvin Valmuci, a spokesperson for Organization for Minorities of India. “We saw it with the Chittisinghpura Massacre in 2000.

The BJP was in power when, on the eve of US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India, Indian intelligence agencies killed 35 Sikhs in cold blood and blamed it on Muslim terrorists to try to sway Clinton against Pakistan. Clinton saw through it then, and we can only hope Trump will see through it now.”

Trump has only offered praise for Modi, however. “We did talk about religious freedom, and I will say that the prime minister was incredible in what he told me,” said Trump after their meeting. “He wants people to have religious freedom and very strongly.”

Reporting from Delhi on 25 February, social activist Harsh Mander said the situation in the north-eastern section of the city “worsens alarmingly,” writing, “Mobs roaming with guns, shooting, and arson. Even ambulances are being blocked.

The police has failed completely in protecting innocent lives. Intense fear. To prevent all of Delhi from burning, the only recourse is to call in the Army. Now.”

“We ask you to raise your voice against the state-sponsored violence against Muslims in India,” said the Coalition Against Fascism in India (CAFI) in an open letter to concerned groups and individuals in the USA. “It is particularly shameful that this should be happening during the visit of President Trump, who is a close ally of Modi.

Far from condemning the attempts of Modi’s government to establish a Hindu majoritarian state, Trump has lauded the Indian government for its efforts towards ‘religious freedom’, an effort that seems to include the torching of places of worship by the goons supported and encouraged by the ruling party.”

CAFI concluded: “The situation can rapidly deteriorate into even greater violence and slaughter, even as Trump feasts at Modi’s table. The time to unite against these reprehensible actions committed by world leaders is now.”

“This is a time when we see what people are truly made of,” said Balbir Singh Dhillon, president of West Sacramento Sikh Gurdwara. A businessman who was falsely jailed and tortured in India in the 1990s, he says that what is happening to the Muslims in India today happened to the Sikhs and Christians just yesterday.

“Any American politician who is truly for peace and pluralism in India has an obligation to speak out now. Congressmen like Ro Khanna, a Hindu-American of Indian descent who has publicly denounced ‘Hindutva,’ should be leading the charge against this new wave of hate and violence in Delhi. Why is he silent? Where are our other representatives when we really need them?”

Organization for Minorities of India was founded in 2006 to advance individual liberties of Christians, Buddhists, Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs, and all Mulnivasi people of South Asia by encouraging secularism, progressive human rights, liberation of oppressed peoples, and universal human dignity. Visit OFMI.org for more information.

www.OFMI.org

The Print – The Delhi pogrom 2020 is Amit Shah’s answer to an election defeat

The violence was clearly orchestrated to end peaceful protests against Amit Shah’s ‘chronology’.

Shivam Vij

New Delhi – India, 26 February 2020. Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police Rajesh Deo has told the Delhi High Court it has not seen the video of Kapil Mishra threatening violence in northeast Delhi. This one headline alone tells you everything you need to know about the violence in Delhi.

Kapil Mishra is a BJP leader, the Delhi Police is run directly by Home Minister Amit Shah, the right-hand man of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Kapil Mishra made his provocative speech in the presence of a senior Delhi Police officer, making it clear that he wanted his followers to take the law in their own hands.

The Delhi pogrom of 2020 is state-sponsored. Anyone who cannot see that is pretending to be blind. In numerous accounts, videos and photos, we see the Delhi Police purportedly aiding and abetting the violence, either by looking away or actually participating in it.

A Delhi Police constable has been killed, as has an Intelligence Bureau official. The 24 dead (so far) include people from both religions — but more Muslims. When mass violence is provoked against a community, the community strikes back in defence.

That’s how it becomes a riot, spun as an ‘equal fight’ between two sides. Both are then blamed. But the truth is that it is primarily Muslims who have been targeted, Muslim shops burnt, a cemetery desecrated, a mosque taken over, pages of the Quran burnt, and so on.

What was the purpose of this violence? First, it was to prevent the scaling up of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests. The women sitting in Seelampur, a Muslim-dominated slum area, rightly felt it was no use sitting there. Shaheen Bagh got attention by virtue of being in south Delhi, even though it is in a Muslim-dominated area. But Seelampur? It was like speaking to themselves.

Responding to a Bharat Bandh call by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, the women decided to move their protest to a road underneath the Jaffrabad metro station Saturday night. This blocked a road. Unless you block a main road, how do you get the attention of the mainstream? This is not the first time a road has been blocked by a group of protesting people.

But BJP’s Kapil Mishra said the blocking of a road was somehow a matter serious enough for people to take law in their own hands. He demanded that the road be cleared in both Jaffrabad and nearby Chand Bagh.

The Delhi pogrom 2020 is Amit Shah’s answer to an election defeat