Delhi Police Crime Branch on Monday arrested a wanted man, who was allegedly involved in the North-East Delhi riots in 2020.
According to police, 29-year-old man Mohd Salman alias Chand Babu was found hiding in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandsher and was allegedly involved in northeast Delhi riots. He was identified during the investigation of riot cases through statements of witnesses, video footage, and disclosure statements of co-accused.
He was declared a “Proclaimed Offender” in several cases of rioting. A police official said, “We received information that Salman, who was wanted in connection with several cases of rioting, was hiding in Bulandshahr. A team was formed and he was subsequently arrested. During questioning, he confessed that he was in a state of aggression due to the CAA and NRC, which he perceived were against the Muslim community.”
Police reports declare that Salman was in a state of aggression due to CAA/NRC Bills, as he perceived that these laws were against those who would be sent out of India. Several processions were set up against these bills.
On February 24 last year, crowds had gathered at Delhi’s Ghonda area to protest against these laws. When the government was adamant about implementing the laws which Muslims perceived would deprive many of their Indian citizenships, the mob became violent and went on a rampage. Salman along with other persons allegedly set fire to several shops and vehicles. Some others had opened gunfire towards houses belonging to other communities, Rajesh Deo, DCP, Crime, said.
The accused was arrested under the appropriate section of the law and the concerned Police Station has been informed regarding arrest, Deo added.
The Delhi Riots in 2020 was a horrific event with multiple waves of bloodshed, property destruction, and rioting in North East Delhi, which was later marked as a pre-planned conspiracy to disturb Indian law, by the Delhi High Court on September 2021.
This was caused chiefly by Hindu mobs attacking Muslims. Of the 53 people killed, two-thirds were Muslims who were shot, slashed with repeated blows, or set on fire. The dead also included a policeman, an intelligence officer, and over a dozen Hindus, who were shot or assaulted.
After a week of violence, hundreds of wounded languished in understaffed medical facilities, and corpses were being found in open drains. By mid-March, many Muslims had remained missing.
Muslims were marked as targets for violence In order to have their religion ascertained, Muslim males—who unlike Hindus are commonly circumcised—were at times forced to remove their lower garments before being brutalized. Among the injuries recorded in one hospital were lacerated genitals.
The properties destroyed were disproportionately Muslim-owned and included four mosques, which were set ablaze by rioters. By the end of February, many Muslims had left these neighbourhoods. Even in areas of Delhi untouched by the violence, some Muslims had left for their ancestral villages, fearful for their personal safety in India’s capital.
It is said that the Delhi police was silently watching while the battle took place and it was only on the intervention of the courts that the people got help.