“Ka**on ko, Mullo ko nibta do” or “Get rid of the Muslims” - these were the orders conveyed by BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal during the communal violence in Northeast Delhi’s Bhagirathi Vihar, as claimed by a resident of the area in a complaint to the Delhi Police.
These are one of the several complaints The Quint has gained access to, as part of its investigation on the Northeast Delhi Riots that took place in the last week of February this year.
These are complaints filed by local residents who claim to have witnessed acts of violence, often by prominent local politicians.
Many of these complaints mentioned the names of BJP leaders like Karawal Nagar MLA Mohan Singh Bisht, former MLA from Mustafabad Jagdish Pradhan, Uttar Pradesh MLA Nand Kishore Gujjar and Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra as well as self-styled Hindutva leader Ragini Tiwari.
The Quint has already reported on how the Delhi Police’s charge sheets have omitted Kapil Mishra’s name as well as an eyewitness account of how Ragini Tiwari allegedly fired bullets and incited the mob.
As part of this series, we have now accessed a detailed complaint by a Bhagirathi Vihar resident on the alleged role of Kanhaiya Lal, BJP councillor from Johripur in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, during the riots.
The complaint was filed at the Gokulpuri Police Station on 11 March.
The Mob Shouted “Jai Shri Ram”, “Aag Lagao” “Maaro”
The complainant begins his account narrating what he saw at Gali Number 1/3 in Bhagirathi Vihar, on 24 February, the first day of the violence.
“On 24.02.2020, I was at my home. At around 8-9 at night, I heard a great deal of noise and commotion and came down from my home. Then I saw that towards Shiv Mandir, Pal Chowk, around 100-150 people were coming chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Ka**o ko sabak sikhao’ (teach a lesson to Muslims) ‘Aag lagao (set the fire)‘ ‘Maaro (kill)’”.
According to the complainant, "the mob was carrying swords, trishuls, large axes and pistols”.
That’s when I saw Yogendra jeanswala and Councillor Kanhaiya Lal, who was leading the mob. Kanhaiya Lal brought the mob towards Yogendra jeanswala’s shop and they stopped there. The entire mob began shouting slogans loudly.Complainant
The complainant recalls that the residents of their street stood guard all night to protect their homes.
“Kanhaiya Lal Brought The Mob From Three Sides”: Complainant
“On 25.02.2020 at around 6 PM I was at my Gali when Yogendra jeanswala and Kanhaiya Lal (councillor) brought the mob of 100-150 people from three sides - from Pal Chowk, 20 Foot Gali Number One 1/3 Gali that comes from Pal Chowk, and from the side of the Naali,” the complainant alleges.
According to the complainant, the mob was carrying swords, spears, trishuls, petrol bombs kept inside a black bag and they gathered around the area’s Masjid, chanting "Jai Shri Ram", "Kapil Mishra Zindabad", "Jagdish Pradhan Zindabad".
Kanhaiya Lal (councillor) was talking on the phone and then he said that ‘Jagdish Pradhan ne bol diya hai ki in ka**o/mullo ko nibta do’ (Jagdish Pradhan has said ‘get rid of these Muslims’“).
“Then Kaale son of Shiv Charan and Mohit began firing from their pistols” . The mob began pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs,” the complainant alleges.
Fearing the stones and petrol bombs, the complainant said that he rushed to the roof of his house. From there he claims seeing 25-30 people gathered on the roof of one Jaggi, pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs.
The mosque in the area had caught fire.
“I saw that there was smoke coming from the Masjid. The people gathered at Jaggi’s roof shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and said “Masjid Jalaa do’ (burn the mosque) and “Ka**o ka kaam tamaam kar do (finish off the Muslims), Kaat do (cut them into pieces), Jalaa do (burn them)“.Complainant
The complainant claims that he recognised some of the locals who were pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs from the roof and he has mentioned them in his complaint.
The complainant alleges the police threatened locals not to complain about specific incidents else “they will be booked under fake cases”. .
While an FIR has now been registered on this 11 March complaint, the police is yet to arrest the BJP councillor.
The Quint reached out to Kanhaiya Lal through phone as well as messages but there has been no response. The story shall be updated when he responds.
Just to reiterate, we have withheld the name of the person who has written the statement for safety reasons but we would be willing to share the entire signed statement with the police if called upon to do so.