Leaders making hate speeches must be held accountable: Amnesty on Delhi violence

Amnesty's executive director Avinash Kumar demanded a prompt and impartial investigation into hate speeches

Delhi riots
The dossier said the Twitter handles targeted Delhi Police using hashtags such as #ShameonDelhiPolice | PTI File

The Amnesty India on Tuesday (February 25) urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to unequivocally condemn the recent hate speeches made by leaders and demanded that they must be held accountable, as nine people were killed in violence in northeast Delhi over the citizenship law.

Amnesty International India executive director Avinash Kumar demanded a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into such speeches that allegedly led to ongoing and past violence, adding that the “prolonged impunity” must end.

The comments by the human rights organisation come as tension smouldered in northeast Delhi on Tuesday, with mobs roaming unchecked through the streets, pelting stones, vandalising shops and threatening locals.

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra had led a gathering in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at Jafarabad on Sunday, following which violence erupted between protesters and supporters of the contentious law.

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“Political leaders in India who are fuelling hatred and creating a violent environment by making hate speeches must be immediately held accountable,” the Amnesty said in a statement.

“There has been a deafening silence from the Prime Minister on the hate speeches made by the political leaders since December 2019. The Prime Minister must lead the way and unequivocally condemn them,” it said.

The Amnesty also pointed out to controversial speeches made by BJP leaders like Anurag Thakur. “It is shocking that since December 2019, not even a single elected representative has been prosecuted for advocating hatred and violence,” it said. “It is the ongoing impunity that the political leaders enjoy which encourages them and other non-state actors to stoke more violence.”

Streets in parts of northeast Delhi were littered with stones, bricks and burnt tyres, mute testimony to the spiralling violence and bloodshed that took on a communal taint on Monday and injured about 150 people, including 48 police personnel.

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