A recent report has revealed that Muslim houses, shops and religious places were selectively targeted in the riots in the Indian capital while the administration and police remained silent spectators.
A commission of inquiry set up by the Indian government to protect the rights of minorities has said police failed to protect Muslims during riots in New Delhi earlier this year.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the New Delhi government is about granting citizenship to six religious groups from countries in the region. These religious groups do not include Muslims. Critics say the law discriminates against “Muslims” and negatively affects the country’s secular reputation. There were widespread protests in India last year and this year against the law. Fifty-three people, mostly Muslims, were killed and 200 injured in the worst religious riots in decades in New Delhi.
According to the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC), Muslim houses, shops and other assets were selectively targeted in the February riots. Eleven mosques, five madrassas and another shrine and a cemetery were damaged. The DMC report was released this week. “Extensive violence was apparently planned with the help of the administration and police to quell the protests,” the report said.
Critics of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi believe that his Bharatiya Janata Party is pursuing the “Hindu First” agenda and that the Citizenship Amendment Act is an attempt to further marginalize the country’s 170 million Muslims. The BJP denies the allegations.
The Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) in its report also accused some senior BJP members of inciting violence in the February 23 riots.