New Delhi: A field investigation by Amnesty International India has documented several human rights violations committed by the Delhi Police during the 2020 February riots. The investigation was done in collaboration with Amnesty International's Crisis Evidence Lab which analysed and verified various videos that were recorded during the riots.
Titled "Six Months Since Delhi Riots, Delhi Police Continue To Enjoy Impunity Despite Evidence Of Human Rights Violations" , the report which was released on Friday, says that "As the Delhi police investigates who is responsible for the riots, there have been no investigations till now into the human rights violations committed by the Delhi police during the riots."
"The Delhi police personnel were complicit and an active participant in the violence that took place in Delhi in February 2020, yet in the last six months not a single investigation has been opened into the human rights violations committed by the Delhi police," the rights group statement said.
Amnesty International India said it interviewed more than 50 riot survivors, eye witnesses, lawyers, human rights activists and retired police officers. It also analysed several videos on social media platforms like Twitter to analyse the role of the Delhi police during the riots. These videos showed Delhi police pelting stones with the rioters, torturing people, dismantling protest sites used by peaceful protesters and being mute bystanders as rioters wreaked havoc in Delhi.
"The investigation revealed the behaviour of the police officers in many incidents during the violence in Delhi is a cause for concern. The ruthless treatment of the heavily injured men by the Delhi police violated the international human rights standards that allow for force to be used only as a last resort," the report says.
"In the build-up to the Legislative Assembly elections in Delhi which were held on 8 February 2020, several political leaders made hateful speeches against the anti-CAA protesters demonising them as 'anti-nationals' and inciting violence against them in their election rallies. These speeches were followed by violence on university campuses against those protesting the CAA. Even after the Delhi elections, the hate speeches continued followed by widespread violence in the North-East district of Delhi,"
Mostly Muslims and less than a dozen Hindus were killed between February 23-29, with many of the dead said to have died of bullet wounds.