Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik is guilty of dereliction of duty
National Commission for Minorities is an aberration in a liberal democracy that has a Human Rights Commission to look into violation of human rights of all citizens. The popular perception that NCM, as of now, is thoroughly communal in its approach is validated by its arbitrary pronouncement that recent violent clashes that rocked lower Assam had nothing to do with Bangladeshi infiltration and were between Bodos and “resident Muslims”. NCM team arrived at this unrealistic conclusion after a brief visit to a few Muslim refugee camps.
There is no question that resident Muslims too indulged in killing and arson along with their co-religionists from across the Indo-Bangladesh border but that doesn’t prove that massive and unending inflow of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants is not the root cause of the long-standing tensions in the northeastern states. Infiltrators have been encouraged to settle in undivided Assam since 60s by the likes of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (who rose to be the President of India) to create a Muslim vote bank. Obviously NCM totally relied on the allegations leveled by Muslims as gospel truth but didn’t care to take note of the Bodos’ concerns. Of particular concern is the “warning” by the NMC that “militant/Jehadi groups” in other parts of the country would supply lethal weapons to the Muslims in Assam if the later were not expeditiously settled in the villages they fled from because of recent riots. NMC didn’t exercise the restraint expected from a statutory authority while dealing with a highly sensitive and explosive issue. The Commission needs to be scrapped in the larger interests of the nation.
Provoked by morphed and doctored videos and millions of SMSs and MMSs about rumours pertaining to alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar, organised gangs of Muslims vent their anger on innocent Hindus, particularly people from North East across South India, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and UP. Any incident perceived to be hurting Muslim interests or sentiments anywhere on the globe – whether the collapse of Khilafat in Turkey, publication of Satanic Verses in Europe or alleged violence against Muslims in Myanmar – is good enough reason for radical Muslims to take out their wrath on the Indian society. This is what happened in Allahabad, Lucknow, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Scared by wanton violence and repeated threats of revenge, several thousand Indians belonging to northeastern states left for their homes in a hurry. Calls from their families in north-east to return home for safety left them with no option but quit their jobs and leave Bangalore and other cities and towns in South and Western India. They undertook the long and hazardous journey back home packed as sardines in railway coaches. Attempts by local authorities, politicians and social outfits to dissuade them had little effect and the exodus continued for weeks. RSS and several organisations inspired by it rendered a yeoman’s service to those rushing back home by providing them with food and whatever help they needed. Northeastern Indians were in trauma and had deep psychological scars but they did carry with them warm memories for the love and affection of men and women who came to their rescue when their lives were in peril.
Writing about the police handling of the violent August 11 Muslim rally in Azad Maidan, Javed Anand of Muslims for Democracy and Teesta Seetalvad of Citizen for Justice observed, “A Muslim mob behaved in despicable fashion – torching OB vans, attacking media persons and the police, molested women constables and snatching arms from the police – in the backdrop of a rally at Azad Maidan”. The duo went on to praise the Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik for his “exemplary restraint” in dealing with the marauding mob in face of extreme provocation. They had no word of condemnation for the Commissioner’s dereliction of duty in not acting against the Mob that caused mayhem in South Mumbai. Nor did they mention his deplorable behaviour towards his deputy Ravindra Shisve who was publicly insulted and called stupid for nabbing a rioter and was ordered to release him under threats of suspension. Patnaik is guilty of unprofessional conduct. He would do well to quit the police and join a Budhist monastery to practice non-violence. One wonders who the co-authors of the incendiary article would have responded if the police had remained a mute spectator were the 50,000 strong Hindu procession led by Raj Thackeray from Chawpatty to Azad Maidan on August 21 had gone berserk and attacked police and molested lady constable. Anand and Seetalvad stands exposed as fake secularists. They want different rules of engagements with crowds on the basis of their religion. Such double standards are responsible for a deep sense of victimhood among large sections of Hindu society. While Patnaik defends his inaction saying opening fire at the Muslim crowd was no option as the situation would have gone out of hand. But former Police Commissioner of Mumbai Julio Ribeiro says 650 policemen deployed on August 11 were not a small force to control the violent rally on August 11 and added “Clearly, the force was caught by surprise and was not prepared for the violence”. Or was it the Police Commissioner who didn’t allow his men to use force against the violent mob to please his political bosses?
New Delhi has evidence that Pakistan-based websites generated doctored and morphed videos that spread malicious rumours about atrocities against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar to arouse Muslim passion against people of northeastern states. Although most of the incendiary messages were multiplied through millions of SMSs and MMs by militant groups like HuJI and PFI—that shot into notoriety in 2010 by its activists chopped off the hands of a lecturer in Kerala for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of his students – and radicals Muslims living in all parts of the country, the most foul material was originally generated by Pak-based websites. Pakistan is unlikely to heed India’s request to block these websites by repeatedly asking us to provide more proof as they did in the case of conspirators, funders and guides of 26/11 roaming free in Pakistan in absence of “proof” that would satisfy Islamabad. The Karnataka police have arrested Anees Pasha, a 26 year old cell phone repaired who alone forwarded objectionable images and messages to 20,000 people using multiple SIM cards and cell phones and uploading videos through electronic means to incite hatred and emotional outrage against people of the Northeast. Two of his associates – Tahsheen Nawaz and Shahid Salman Khan – have also been arrested in Bangalore on similar charges. Four educated and well employed Muslim youth were arrested in Pune for circulating objectionable material to create enmity between two religious communities. Several Muslim youths had been arrested by Pune police for injuring 15 persons, most seriously, from Northeastern that led to several thousand belonging to Northeast fleeing to their respective states. Blame Pakistan for inciting passions but please don’t forget to bring to justice the enemy within.