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Delhi riots 2020: Amnesty International accuses police of rights abuses, demands probe

Amnesty International has claimed it has documented videos showing police “pelting stones with the rioters, torturing people, dismantling protest sites and being mute bystanders” during the riots in north-east Delhi.

August 28, 2020 / 10:22 AM IST
File image: Reuters

File image: Reuters

Amnesty International has alleged that Delhi Police "committed serious human rights violations" during the riots in north-east Delhi earlier in 2020 and has demanded an independent investigation into the matter.

The human rights organisation has claimed that it has documented video footage showing the Delhi Police “pelting stones with the rioters, torturing people, dismantling protest sites and being mute bystanders” amid the riots.

Amnesty says that the 20-page “investigative brief” was collated after interviewing more than 50 riot survivors, retired police officers, lawyers and activists. It said that the conduct of policemen during the violence is “a cause for concern”.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the document.

At least 50 people were killed and over 200 injured in the communal violence that broke out in north-east Delhi on February 24 after clashes between groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) spiralled out of control. As many as 690 cases have been registered in the matter.

“Six months on, there has not been even a single investigation into the role of the Delhi police. This ongoing state-sponsored impunity sends the message that the law enforcement officials can commit grave human rights violations and evade accountability. That they are a law unto themselves,” said Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India.

The organisation has alleged that the Delhi police provided an “inadequate response in preventing the riots”. “This includes the denial of medical services to victims, failure to rescue them, excessive and arbitrary use of force on protesters and differential treatment of assemblies,” the document adds.

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first published: Aug 28, 2020 10:22 am