Statement on Trilokpuri Communal Violence

A team of CPI(ML) Liberation activists visited the affected areas of Trilokpuri and other areas of East Delhi on 26th October. The CPI(ML) observed in the course of the visit that there was no long-standing communal tension in the area. Rather, there were a couple of inconsequential drunken brawls of the kind that often happen on Diwali night. The police had dealt with these brawls on the night of the 23rd October itself. But, in a planned way, stone-pelting and arson took place on the morning of the 24th October, and continued on 24th and 25th Ocotber. The inconsequential quarrels and brawls were thus given a communal colour and with the help of wild rumours, the violence and communal tension were spread. This sustained violence could not have taken place without the police looking the other way.

Local people have said that known lumpen elements were involved in stoking and carrying out the violence. And they also especially named the role of former BJP MLA Sunil Vaidya in stoking the violence.

Local people have narrated how the police have indulged in violence against innocent bystanders and local residents including women. Women were beaten by male police. The real instigators and perpetrators of the violence have gone scot free, while most of those arrested and beaten up in custody are innocent.

While innocents of both communities have been arrested and jailed, the number of people from the minority community who have been arrested is disproportionately much higher. Those arrested (around 70 people) have been booked under severe sections including Section 307 (attempt to murder). This clearly shows the random and indiscriminate application of Section 307, not based on any proper investigation of the incidents of violence.

The question arises why the Home Minister of the country could not visit Trilokpuri when communal violence broke out in the national capital? The Central Government owes a responsibility to maintain peace and law and order, and bears the responsibility for failure to respond promptly to curb the violence and calm the situation.

CPI(ML) demands a probe into the role of former BJP MLA Sunil Vaidya and other members of the ruling party in fomenting violence. The CPI(ML) demands a review of the cases booked against those arrested, and withdrawal of cases for which prima facie evidence is wanting. Action should be taken against the DCP of the area for failure to curb the violence and for the wanton police violence against women.

As Delhi elections approach, citizens of Delhi must remain alert to the BJP’s systematic strategy to foment communal tension and polarization in order to harvest hatred for votes. Common citizens must be alert to rumours and foil all attempts to turn minor everyday incidents into fodder for politically motivated rioting.

– Sanjay Sharma
Secretary, Delhi State Committee,
CPI(ML) Liberation