Dozens of Muslims have been killed and scores more injured or sexually assaulted in a pogrom instigated and carried out by supporters of far-right nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India. The death toll is expected to rise and the latest violence has placed yet more scrutiny on the racist and Islamophobic Hindu nationalist policies of Modi.
Activists and campaigners have called for the assistance of doctors, lawyers, journalists and others to combat the deteriorating human rights situation in Delhi as the region descends into religious violence against the Muslim population.
Images and video shared on social media show a man lynched and dragged through the streets of Chandbagh, Delhi.
Other images show rampaging mobs looting and burning Muslim homes and businesses with rioters demanding that men expose themselves to check for circumcision.
Eyewitnesses describe at least two dead and 20 more injured in Mustafabad with Indian security forces and rioters denying medical access to the area after a mob attacked the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest site. Several of the injured are said to be children.
Eyewitnesses on the scene in Mustafabad say that an armed mob of around 50 men began hurling stones before the crowd swelled and at least two mosques were attacked along with numerous businesses and private homes.
Later in the evening members of the mob descended into the slums and set fire to the homes of Muslim residents who had fled the violence the day before. The mobs are said to have been shouting “shoot the traitors”.
Delhi residents have criticised the inaction of the police who are said to be allowing the mobs to run riot in the state with little to no action being taken to stop the violence and killing.
Indian police have gone as far as to state that those killed and in hospital are “the aggressors”
“Those people (in Chand Bagh) are the aggressors… The people on the other side (Bhajanpura) are carrying weapons for self-defence.”Special CP Satish Golcha
The pogrom began on Sunday evening when BJP leader Kapil Mishra gave an ultimatum to the police in Delhi that anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters in Jaffrabad and Chandbagh should be removed within three days. The violence intensified after the state visit of Donald Trump to India, with the number of dead officially standing at 13 with 186 more severely injured, many suffering from gunshot wounds. Campaigners say that the official numbers are merely the tip of the iceberg and are being covered-up by authorities with at least 20 dead at GTB hospital alone.
“We are surrounded by Muslims from all four sides, if we want to defend ourselves we will have to fight”Hinduvita supporter
The new citizenship bill entitles Indian citizenship to migrants who are either Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs or Hindus from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan as long as they entered the country before 2015. Critics say that the bill could cause further ostracisation of the some 200 million Muslims living in India and state that it is discriminatory in nature as it does not include Muslim migrants from the same countries. The bill has been identified as racist and Islamophobic.