The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), in a statement, has urged the Rajasthan government of Congress to take immediate disciplinary action be taken against a section of the Karauli district administration and police, regarding their crimes of omission and commission during the recent Karauli riot and the aftermath.
A letter signed by Kavita Srivastava, PUCL president, and Anant Bhatnagar, PUCL general secretary, addressed to the State chief secretary Usha Sharma, with copies to home secretary Abhay Kumar Jain and ML Lather, DG Police, says that the riot was provoked by a Hindutva group, shouting abusive slogans, leading to stone pelting and burning of shops, wondering why was permission granted for the rally.
Shocking stories from Karauli are being continuously shared by journalists and the affected people regarding the crimes of omission and commission by the administration and the police in the context of the communal riots in Karauli which took place on the April 2, 2022.
We are glad that no human life was lost, however, the riot provoked by the rally of the Hindutva group, shouting abusive slogans, leading to stone pelting and then burning of shops, has further filled with hate and mistrust the warp and weft of the society which historically believed in coexistence.
This city has had brickbats between the two communities in the past, but never this kind of a riot, even when the neighbourhood of Hindon and Gangapur city were burning with communal rage in the past.
The people of the State would like to know the following:
1. Why was permission granted for the rally of the Hindutva lot, it was being led by the Bipin Behari Shukla whose affiliations to the RSS are well known, to go through the Hatwara area, where Muslims are in domination? The SDM, ADM and District Collector who must have granted permission, need to be made accountable for this irresponsible decision. It is important to know, under whose pressure did they agree to the route that the rallyists wanted to take.
2. Why was the motorcycle rally of more than 700 motorcyclists with more than one pillion rider, without helmets, carrying big bamboo sticks, shouting hate slogans like, topi wala bhi sar jhuka ke bolega, Jai shri ram, Jai Shri Ram with a DJ playing on high decibel the same slogans, to coincide with Asr namaz at 5.00 to 5.30 pm, allowed to get into the street where Muslims reside. Why were they not stopped when the police and the SDM must have realised that the purpose of the rally is to only verbally abuse and humiliate Muslims?
3. Why was the police almost absent from the area? Videos clearly show that there was no police bandobast and hardly ten policemen are seen. No policemen are posted on terraces, to keep a watchful eye on what was happening around them. This kind of criminal negligence for allowing a rally where people were in a frenzied state, going through the Muslim dominated area, with no senior policemen. Neither the SP nor the Additional SP are seen walking with the rally when it entered the Muslim dominated area, How could they have left it to a Dy SP. Should not the SP and additional SP be made accountable for being so irresponsible?
4. Why was the police a silent bystander when the hate rally was proceeding, or when the stone pelting was carried out by a section of Muslims in the Hatwara area and again silently watching when the Hindu rallyists on their way back from the Hatwara burnt shops of Muslims and Hindus near Phuta Kot?
5. Why was the police allowed to pick up young Muslim men and beat them up, torture them? See the story that the wire.in has published where a 17-year-old minor was beaten up brutally by the police and being forced to say Jai Shri Ram. Strict action needs to be taken against these policemen who indulged in torture. The young men who were tortured need to be given medical treatment.
It was brought to the notice of the PUCL, that Ghazala Ahmad, journalist with the digital news organisation ‘The Cognate’ and Ahmed Kasim, journalist with ‘The Clarion India’ when returning, after completing their assignment from Karauli town of Rajasthan at 12 noon, were stopped at several spots by cops and later at Ganesh Gate, the Kotwali ASI Nanua Singh manhandled them. Kasim was even pushed by one of the cops and kept heckling him. They waited for more than an hour before they were allowed to make their way out of the city. It was obvious that the police misbehaved with Qasim and Gazala as they were Muslims and the latter was wearing a hijab.
The PUCL demands:
- Urgent disciplinary action against the DM, ADM and SDM for irresponsibly granting permission to the Hindutva rally, with abusive slogans and DJs. They should be removed immediately from the positions they hold in Karauli district.
- Urgent disciplinary action should also be initiated against the senior policemen, the SP and Addl SP to have not stopped the rally when its intention was clear that they wanted to humiliate the Muslims in their own Mohalla. Is this not psychological and mental violence. These police officials need to be removed from their posts.
- The police should also be made an accused in the FIR lodged on April 2, where there was hate violence and stone pelting resulting in injuries, with one Amit Sharma in a serious condition in hospital in SMS hospital in Jaipur.
- Immediate arrests of the rallyists who led the hate rally, indulged in burning of shops and those who pelted stones and damaged vehicles and the DJ and other properties.
- An FIR must be lodged against police officials immediately who indulged in the torture of the minor Muslim boy. Persecution of Muslims should be stopped immediately.
- The communal nature of the police must undergo a change. According to the CSDS and Common Cause Status of policing in India report of 2019, One in two police personnel feels that Muslims are likely to be “naturally prone” towards committing crimes, this needs to be dealt with and changed.
- Since the next few days have several religious festivals, the Ram Navmi is on April 10 and the Hanuman Jayanti is on April 16, once again the Hindutva groups will demand that they be allowed to organise rallies through Muslim areas, this should be disallowed. No permission should be given of a rally which shouts abusive slogans against another community. The police bandobast should be well organised with armed reinforcements be provided in advance, if these rallies are to be permitted.
- April 14, 2022 Ambedkar Jayanti should be celebrated all over the State with an objective of building an inclusive society with all the socially vulnerable and discriminated sections including the SC & ST, Minorities, OBCs, DNT & NTS, LGBTQ!A treated as equals as envisaged by our Indian constitution.
- courtesy counterview