Former Indian Police Service officer Julio Ribeiro on Saturday wrote to Delhi Commissioner of Police SN Shrivastava, questioning the investigation into the Delhi violence, The Indian Express reported.
Ribeiro said that the Delhi Police was taking action against “peaceful protesters” while ignoring senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who made provocative, communal public speeches in the build-up to the violence. Ribeiro is a former Mumbai police commissioner and also served as the police chief of Punjab and Gujarat.
“I write to you with a heavy heart,” Ribeiro said in his letter. “As a true patriot and a former proud member of the Indian Police Service, I appeal to you to ensure a fair probe into the 753 FIRs registered against peaceful protesters who rightly apprehend injustices born from bias and hate against a minority community.” He said that while the Delhi Police has taken action against innocent people, BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur have been kept at bay.
Ribeiro also said that the Delhi Police has trapped “true patriots” like Harsh Mander and Apoorvanand. “We, the police forces in the land, and its leadership drawn from the Indian Police Service, have a duty and obligation to respect the Constitution and the enacted laws impartially without regard to caste, creed and political affiliations,” he added. “Kindly revisit the actions of the police under your command in Delhi to determine if they have been true to their oaths taken at the time of their induction into service.”
In response, Delhi Police spokesperson Dr Eish Singhal confirmed the receipt of the letter and said Ribeiro is a “respected police officer”. “Since the officer in whose name the email has been received has not been in touch with Delhi Police in the recent times and especially in the past six months, we are trying to ascertain the veracity and the genuineness of the mail,” he added.
The CAA and the violence
Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst Delhi saw since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.