New Delhi: A fact – finding committee, headed by Former Supreme Court Judge Madan B Lokur, in its Report noted Home Ministry intentionally delayed the deployment of additional security forces in violence affected areas during communal riots which continued from 23rd to 26th February.
In its 170 page report the five-member committee – comprising former Supreme Court judge Madan B. Lokur, former chief justice of Delhi and Madras high court A.P. Shah, former Delhi high court judge R.S. Sodhi, former Patna high court judge Anjana Prakash, and former Union home secretary G.K. Pillai – concluded ” lackadaisical attitude of Central Home ministry, Delhi police’s involvement in violence, divisive analysis and description of the incident by media and disputed Citizenship (Amendment) Act-where the Hate Campaign by BJP against muslims opposing CAA – were jointly responsible for the communal riots of Delhi.
The Committee found that Additional forces were deployed on 26th February only despite Delhi Police leadership received at least six internal warnings on 23rd February from Special Branch and Intelligence Units. The alerts did warn that violence between the communities could escalate. The alleged lackadaisical attitude shown by the home ministry indirectly helped the rioters go unchecked, organize better, and unleash targeted violence for three continuous days, the committee held.
The committee’s claim was backed by Delhi Police’s own charge sheet produced in the court for the first information report (FIR)-59 that invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against activists like Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi, Ishrat Jahan, and students like Gulfisha Fatima, Safoora Zargar, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and others.
The charge sheet states that the number of Delhi police and Central Armed Police Forces’ personnel were under 1,400 on the first three days of the violence when maximum distress calls were made from the affected areas. The deployment of forces was increased to over 4,000 only on February 26 when violence was largely contained in many parts of northeast.