National Human Rights Commission Chairman and former Chief Justice of India, H.L. Dattu, on Wednesday said the spurt of violence in the capital, which left over 20 people dead and nearly 200 injured, could not be referred as communal, but was an “aberration”. But, facts at ground zero suggest the contrary.
The clashes first broke out on Sunday between opponents and supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act, and acquired communal overtones, with members of two communities involved in extremely violent activities including arson and destruction of public property.
Several photographs, videos and personal accounts on social media paint a chilling picture of violent events which unfolded in the past few days – where groups of men were seen beating unarmed men, including journalists, and destroying property and groups of men with sticks, iron rods and stones wandered undeterred on the streets.
The clashes depicted a grim picture of a communal face-off. Two security personnel – a Delhi Police head constable and an IB operative – have also been killed in the violence that has swept in many areas in northeast Delhi in the past four days.
Yet, the former Chief Justice said this is an aberration.
Dattu, who was in Bengaluru to attend an event, had said the spate of violence could not be cited as a movement where people hate each other, adding that these “small aberrations are an integral part of a democratic country”.
He opined that violence is not the answer, if people were to have opposing opinions, they should sit together and peacefully sort their issues.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed anguish at the violence which consumed the lives of many people. “What happened is very unfortunate and it should not have happened….we do not to expand the ambit of Shaheen Bagh case and people can seek remedy by filing a separate petition on the matter,” said a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet on Wednesday, also appealed for peace, adding that he had reviewed the situation and police have been working to restore normalcy in the disturbed areas.
The Delhi High Court has also taken a serious note of violence in the capital and remarked that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should go for confidence building among people.
Hearing petitions on the violence, it made a strong observation stating that it cannot let “another 1984” happen on its “watch”, referring to anti-Sikh riots of 1984, when more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the capital.
Meanwhile, National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, again visited the violence-hit areas for the second time in 24 hours, before going to meet Home Minister Amit Shah. (Agency)