Need to end senseless violence in Delhi - GulfToday

Need to end senseless violence in Delhi

Need to end senseless violence in Delhi

Fresh violence erupted in multiple parts of northeast Delhi, just kilometres away from where Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for talks.

It is a matter of huge concern that senseless violence has claimed several lives and left many injured in the Indian capital, Delhi. The communal riots in parts of the city clearly overshadowed US President Donald Trump’s first visit to India.

The clashes, the worst in the capital since protests against a new citizenship law started more than two months ago, began over the weekend, but turned deadly on Monday.

There can be no place for such mindless violence in a sane society. Fresh violence erupted in multiple parts of northeast Delhi, just kilometres away from where Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for talks.

Trump did mention that he had heard about communal violence in Delhi but stated he did not discuss it with Modi during their talks as it is “up to India” to deal with it.

“As far as an individual attack is concerned, I heard about it but I didn’t discuss (with PM Modi). That’s up to India,” Trump said in response to a media query on what he felt of communal clashes at a time when he is visiting the country.

One would have expected the world’s most powerful leader to be more forceful in condemning such abhorrent violence.

In a paradoxical coincidence, the fighting flared as Trump was actually praising India as a tolerant country.

The new citizenship law has sparked accusations that Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are undermining India’s secular traditions. A persistent fear is that the law is part of a pattern of divisiveness being followed by the BJP. Hate crimes against minorities have increased since the BJP came to power in 2014.

Incidentally, the United States had earlier released an annual report on international religious freedoms that said religious intolerance was increasing in India and extremist narratives had “facilitated an egregious and ongoing campaign of violence, intimidation, and harassment against non-Hindu and lower-caste Hindu minorities.”

There have been several brutal cases of lynching that have not yet been effectively addressed by the authorities thorough a transparent investigation.

Lack of accountability would only encourage those who believe they can target religious minorities with impunity.

India’s capital has been a hotbed of protests against the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which makes it easier for non-Muslims from three neighbouring Muslim-dominated countries to gain Indian citizenship.

The extent of the Delhi violence could be gauged by the fact that streets in many areas were littered with stones, bricks and burnt tyres.

Even media people were not spared by the mobs that targeted reporters and cameramen. A journalist is said to have received a bullet injury while some reporters were beaten and punched by the rioters.

The fact that violence did not diminish despite the authorities imposing an emergency measure prohibiting any gatherings in the violence-hit areas reveals the audacity of the mobsters.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has rightly appealed to people to maintain peace. As he put it, “Whatever problems people have can be resolved peacefully. Violence will not help find a solution.”

Maintaining law and order and communal harmony is of paramount importance. The authorities should spare no efforts in restoring peace in the city. Those behind the heinous violence should be brought to account and made to face justice. The message from the authorities should be so strong that such reprehensible incidents never recur.

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