Delhi Riots - 2020

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North East Delhi Riots
Date February 24, 2020 – February 25, 2020 [36]
28°41′37″N 77°18′26″E
Goals Preventing Citizenship Amendment Act , Instigating communal violence, Agitation against a democratically elected Government
Methods Rioting, arson, looting, murder, shooting
Status Event Aftermath Ongoing
Lead figures
Sharjeel Imam,Tahir Hussain
Death(s) 52 [36]

On 23 February 2020, a series of riots and violent incidents rocked north east Delhi. This was in the wake of ongoing protests at Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, where anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters had organized a sit in mid December 2019, blocking a public road, to agitate the law passed by the Indian Parliament. The flare up which increasing became communal coincided with the US President Trump's visit to India and was most pronounced in the Muslim dominated areas of north east Delhi. On March 11, Home Minister of India, Amit Shah, informed the Parliament that the riots appeared to be a planned conspiracy to stoke communal violence in India. [1] [36]

The death toll in the northeast Delhi communal riots reached 52. [36]


On December 15, 2019 anti-CAA protestors, mostly Muslim, blocked the road between Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch. The sit in at Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of agitation continued for over two months and is still ongoing. Protestors set fire to a school bus in Delhi’s Seelampur area and damaged vehicles. A number of incendiary slogans were raised. [3] [18]

January 28, 2019 Sharjeel Imam, a mastermind of the Shaheen Bagh protests was arrested on a charge of sedition for his speech calling to cutoff Assam from India. [22]

On February 2, 2020 about 80 locals in support of CAA, marched to remove the Shaheen Bagh road block and an imminent confrontation between the two pro and anti-CAA groups was stopped by the police about 100 meters away from each other. [4]

On February 8, 2020, in the midst of rising tensions the Delhi Legislative Assembly elections were held. The Aam Admi Party (AAP) returned to power with 62 seats. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister from AAP Manish Sisodia had publicly declared that he stood in in solidarity with Shaheen Bagh protesters. AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan had recently been booked for inciting an anti-CAA protest in Ghaziabad. He was also spotted leading the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act which turned violent in Delhi, earlier in December. [23]

The Bharatiya Janta Partly (BJP) won 8 seats and upped its voteshare to about 39%.

February 10, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled on a petition filed by advocate Amit Sahni seeking directions to Delhi Police to ensure smooth traffic flow on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, which was blocked by anti-CAA protestors. Justices SK Kaul observed 'You just cannot block the road. There cannot be an indefinite period of protest in public area. Then, everybody will protest everywhere'. A week later the Supreme Court appointed interlocutors to persuade the Shaheen Bagh protestors to move to a place where public would not be inconvenienced.

The night of February 23, over 500 protestors, mostly women started a sit in at an additional stretch of Seelampur–Jaffrabad road in north east Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) [7] [20]

Kapil Mishra, BJP leader and a group of CAA supporters gathered at Maujpur close to Jaffrabad and asked the police to have the anti-CAA protestors vacate the road in three days failing which CAA supporters would do it themselves. [10]

Stones were hurled by the anti-CAA activists at the CAA supporters at Maujpur. Stone throwing and rioting spread in north east Delhi. Maujpur, which is essentially a Hindu dominated area saw widespread violence that primarily emanated from Jaffrabad, Brahmapuri neighbouring Muslim majority area. According to Intelligence Agency reports, Islamist organisation PFI and Bhim Army have been suspected to be behind the anti-Hindu riots in these areas. [10] [15]

Timeline of Riots

February 24

Supreme Court appointed interlocutors for Shaheen Bagh filed their report in a sealed cover in the apex court. [3]

Delhi Police Head Constable Ratan Lal died of a bullet would in trying to control violence that resulted from an escalation in the anti-CAA protest. Amidst the riots, a video of a man flashing his gun and opening fire as he approached an unarmed policeman, Deepak Dahiya, emerged. The policeman bravely stood his ground before retreating slowly. The shooter fired 8 rounds and was identified as Mohammad Shahrukh Pathan and he absconded after the incident. [20] [21] [19]

At Brijpuri, rioters made 20 year old Dilbar Singh Negi’s their first target, cut his hands and feet and threw the rest of his body into a burning fire. Two of his companions managed to escape. [34] [35]

February 25

President of the United States, Donald Trump, arrived for a two day visit to India. On the day of his arrival the national capital witnessed an unprecedented surge in violence. Anti-CAA protestors brutally murdered Delhi Police Intelligence Bureau officer Anktit Sharma among others. His body was recovered from a drain in the Chand Bagh area. A panel of doctors conducting the autosy claim he was brutally stabbed serveral times till he died. [16] [19] [17]

The Supreme Court while adjourning the matter till March 23, observed the Delhi Police's role could be more professional however, it clarified this was not being said in an adversarial way. It also dismissed pleas demanding court monitored-SIT probe and withheld the interlocutors report from the petitioner and public. [3]

Information and broadcasting ministry issued advisory to channels to prevent broadcast of information that is false or promotes anti national attitudes.

SN Srivastava was appointed as Delhi Special Commissioner (law and order) in Delhi Police.

The Jaffrabad sit in by the anti-CAA protestors was cleared from the road by the Delhi Police. [8]

February 26

Delhi High Court Justices S. Muralidhar and Talwant Singh gave the Delhi Police 24 hours to take a ‘conscious decision’ on filing FIRs against 4 BJP politicians for making incendiary statements, on the petition filed by Harsh Mander. [9]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah asked National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to monitor the situation and help restore peace. Immediately after visiting US President Donald Trump embarked on his return flight, Ajit Doval undertook a late night tour of the riot-hit areas on Tuesday accompanied by Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, newly-appointed Special Commissioner SN Srivastava [11]

February 27

High Court Judge, S. Muralidhar is transferred out form Delhi High Court to Punjab & Haryana High Court. The SC Collegium had approved his transfer about two weeks prior.

Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, argued that that petitioner was selectively seeking action against speeches made by BJP leaders and with the present priority of maintaining law and order FIRs would be filed later at a more appropriate time. The Delhi High Court, Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar, gave the Centre four weeks to file a counter-affidavit in response to a plea seeking registration of FIRs against politicians for making incendiary statements that allegedly incited mob attacks. The next hearing was set on April 13, 2020. [9]

AAP councillor, Tahir Hussain, had been charged under section 302 IPC (punishment for murder) at Dayalpur police station for the killing of Ankit Sharma, Information Bureau (IB) police officer. Though he denied the charge, the AAP suspended his membership in the party. Several videos emerged showing the presence of hundreds of people throwing stones, petrol bombs from the terrace of Hussain's building in Chand Bagh. Tahir Hussain had gone absconding and the Delhi police was on his lookout. [13] [30]

February 28

The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to Delhi Police, Centre and Delhi government on a plea seeking FIRs and SIT investigation against opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Asaduddin Owaisi for allegedly making hate speeches.

Lawyers Voice, has filed a petition seeking registration of FIRs against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for hate speech during anti-Hindu riots in Delhi. The petition also seeks the registration of hate speech FIRs against Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, riot-accused AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, AIMIM leaders Waris Pathan and Akbaruddin Owaisi, and Advocate Mehmood Pracha.

Advocate Sanjiv Kumar filed a petition seeking NIA investigation against activist Harsh Mander, RJ Sayema, actor and activist Swara Bhasker for provocative speeches. [25]

March 02

The death toll in Delhi violence had risen to 46 after four bodies were recovered from drains and brought to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Sunday evening.

Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) under the Crime Branch, Delhi Police, were set up to investigate the violence. [12]

March 03

The Delhi Police Crime Branch arrested Mohammad Shahrukh Pathan from Uttar Pradesh for firing a gun towards an approaching policeman during a mob agitation on February 24th. [27]

March 04

FirstPost claimed that the death toll in the riots is 49 and provides names of those who were killed. [28]

March 06 and After

Suspended AAP leader Tahir Hussain was arrested by the Delhi police on Mar 05, 2020. Delhi police investigation revealed that Tahir was in Delhi's riot-hit Mustafabad area from February 24-27 and Zakir Nagar thereafter. Delhi’s Karkardooma Court sent Tahir Hussain to seven days of police custody. Hussain claimed he was being falsely implicated. [29] [31]

The Delhi police apprehended an accused named Shahnawaz who was involved in the gruesome murder of 20-year-old Dilbar Singh Negi. [35]

On March 11, the Home Minister of India Amit Shah informed the Indian Parliament that the violence in the riots lasted 36 hours and ended the night of February 25, 2020. 52 people were killed. The police seized 152 weapons and detained 2,647 people. He said this was a planned conspiracy to stoke communial violence in India during US President Trump's visit. [36]

Wikipedia Bias

February 25, 2020, the Wikipedia article titled North East Delhi riots was created by a Wikipedia moderator with a username DBigXray. The first image one sees is the that of the BJP leader Kapil Mishra, not an image of the riots. The write up is crafted to give an impressions that the riots were triggered after one speech made by Kapil Mishra which is incorrect and malacious. On March 04, this impression was partially corrected on Wikipedia after the OpIndia editor Nupur Sharma publicly raised the issue with the Wikipedia founder on Twitter. [2]


  1. " North East Delhi riots". Wikipedia.Feb 25, 2020
  2. " Delhi riots: How leftists are using Wikipedia to write the first draft of biased history". OpIndia.Feb 26, 2020
  3. " Shaheen Bagh protests: SC rebukes Delhi Police, says timing 'unconducive' to hear matter; hearing deferred to 23 March". Firstpost.Feb 26, 2020
  4. " Delhi: Locals march towards Shaheen Bagh, demand removal of blockade". Times Of India.Feb 2, 2020
  5. " ‘Indefinite protests can’t block public road,’ says SC on Shaheen Bagh, issues notice to Centre, Delhi ". The Statesman.Feb 10, 2020
  6. " Election Commission of India". Election.In.Feb 11, 2020
  7. " Jaffrabad anti-CAA protests: Over 500 women block road connecting Seelampur with Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar; Delhi Metro shuts station". Firstpost.Feb 23, 2020
  8. " Delhi Violence Over CAA Protest Updates: Amit Shah holds third meeting with Delhi Police, MHA officials in 24 hrs; Section 144 imposed in Noida". Firstpost.Feb 25, 2020
  9. " Delhi HC Accepts Centre's Logic, Gives 4 Weeks to Respond to Plea Seeking Hate Speech FIR". The Wire.Feb 27, 2020
  10. " Delhi violence: Defiant BJP leader Kapil Mishra says did not commit crime by supporting CAA ". The Hindu.Feb 26, 2020
  11. "Delhi violence: 28 dead, police pulled up by HC over inaction, NSA Ajit Doval takes charge ". India Today.Feb 27, 2020
  12. "Delhi riots: Death toll in violence rises to 46, SIT to conduct probe". The New Indian Express.Mar 2, 2020
  13. " AAP suspends Tahir Hussain after murder charge in IB staffer death case". 27, 2020
  14. " Why Trumps Visit Matters". 25, 2020
  15. " One cut off his own Kalawa, another, removed ‘Sri Ram’ sticker from his bike: A tale of Maujpur’s Dara Hua Hindus". OpIndia.Feb 27, 2020
  16. " Delhi Anti-CAA riots: Autopsy report confirms that head constable Ratan Lal died of bullet injuries". OpIndia.Feb 25, 2020
  17. " Rioters stabbed IB official 250 times: Post-mortem report reveals Delhi riot horror". The New Indian Express.Feb 28, 2020
  18. " Delhi turns into a war zone as anti-CAA rioters now attack a school bus after ‘peaceful’ protest turned violent". OpIndia.Dec 17, 2019
  19. " Shahrukh, the Islamist who fired 8 rounds at police during anti-CAA riots in Delhi arrested". OpIndia.Feb 25, 2020
  20. " Head Constable Ratan Lal dies as Islamists protesting against CAA pelt stones during anti-CAA riots in Delhi". OpIndia.Feb 24, 2020
  21. " From ‘protestor’ to ‘appears to be a gun’, read how media whitewashed gun-wielding Delhi rioter Mohammad Shahrukh". OpIndia.Feb 25, 2020
  22. " Shaheen Bagh mastermind Sharjeel Imam arrested for calling for cutting off the North East from rest of India". OpIndia.Jan 28, 2020
  23. " Kejriwal activates damage-control mode, asks BJP to negotiate with seditious organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protests". OpIndia.Feb 27, 2020
  24. " Fact check: Did AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan in his speech say that he wants to bring ‘Sharia’ law in India". OpIndia.Feb 25, 2020
  25. " Anti-Hindu riots: Delhi HC issues notice to centre, police over petition seeking FIR against Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka and others for hate speech". OpIndia.Feb 28, 2020
  26. " Delhi HC issues notice to Centre, Delhi, police on plea seeking FIR against Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi". IndiaLegalLive.Com.Feb 28, 2020
  27. "Delhi Police Crime Branch Arrests Gunman Shahrukh From Uttar Pradesh" . RepublicWorld.Com.Mar 3, 2020
  28. "High cost of riots in northeast Delhi: List of 49 people who died during three days of violence" . 4, 2020
  29. "Delhi Anti-Hindu riots: Investigation reveals Tahir Hussain was residing in Mustafabad during riots, contradicts his earlier statements" . 6, 2020
  30. "Delhi anti-Hindu riots: AAP councillor Tahir Hussain arrested by Delhi Police in Ankit Sharma murder case" . 5, 2020
  31. "Tahir Hussain sent to Police Custody by Delhi Court" . 6, 2020
  32. "Delhi riots: Death toll rises to 53; police maintain number stands at 44" . The New Indian Express.Mar 6, 2020
  33. "Shaheen Bagh Empty: Protest Loses Steam As Media Partners Go Missing; Crowd Dwindles" . RepublicWorld.Com.Mar 5, 2020
  34. "Limbs chopped, thrown into fire like a piece of meat: Video of Delhi anti-Hindu Delhi riot victim Dilbar Negi goes viral" . OpIndia.Mar 1, 2020
  35. "Delhi anti-Hindu riots: Police arrests one Shahnawaz for murder of Dilbar Negi, who was burnt alive after his limbs were chopped off" .OpIndia.Mar 7, 2020
  36. "Amit Shah says 52 Indians killed in Delhi riots, won't categorise victims as Hindus or Muslims" .Zee News.Mar 11, 2020

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