The fire that was lit by Sharjeel Imam and other students of Jamia Milia Islamia such as Ladeeda Sakhaloon, who called for Jihad after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, has grown to consume the entirety of North East Delhi. Numerous lives have been lost in the anti-Hindu Delhi riots, properties worth crores have been turned into ashes and the terrible blow communal harmony has suffered in the national capital will take a great deal of time to heal. Needless to say, this is precisely what the Radical Islamists wanted from the very beginning.
Of the radical Islamists who have contributed greatly to the violence, Sharjeel Imam was the most prominent ideologue. The Jamia Hijabis were, at the end of the day, showpieces who served the cause of Ummah well in the surrounding propaganda but it was Sharjeel Imam who provided a clear pathway for the others to tread. He masterminded the Shaheen Bagh protests and harassing the ordinary public by enforcing a blockade of roads for the victory of the Ummah was his brainchild.
Sharjeel Imam’s Radical Islamic Ideology
Sharjeel Imam idolized Mohammed Ali Jinnah and interpreted the latter’s Jihad through the lens of post-partition independent India. From his rhetoric, it is evident that he considers a Civil War with the Indian State as a necessary recourse to secure and further strengthen the Ummah within the existing geographical boundaries of India. Eventually, he was arrested after a video of his went viral on social where he could be heard urging Muslims to cut off North East India from the rest of the country by blocking Chicken’s Neck.
There was another video of his that went viral on social media but the implications of it were largely ignored. During that particular speech, Sharjeel Imam says that an ‘intellectual cell’ has been created which he asks the students gathered to join. He says that as many as a hundred, or maybe even two hundred or three, have already joined the ranks to form a team that would work along these lines. He concludes his speech by saying that ‘We have the strength to bring Hindustan to a halt’.
Sharjeel had said, “Wherever I go in Delhi, I meet a shopkeeper and tell him I am from JNU and a Musalmaan, then one person sits, then two, then fifteen and soon enough, thirty people will gather around me, only to listen to me. If you are a scholar, then your duty is on the streets, not here. You have studied, now it is your duty to educate the ‘Awaam’.” He continued, “We are scholars, we have the energy, we can run, we can tolerate two-four lathis, we can take a couple of teargas, we can create pamphlets, edit videos,” he says before continuing, “We can go door to door and argue with people, the common man cannot do it. The common man does not even know what he has to say.” He says that one of the main things that scholars must do is create a ‘plan of action’.
The identity of the ‘intellectual cell’ that was supposedly established by Sharjeel Imam has not yet come out into the public domain. But there are certain ‘intellectuals’ who have made a great deal of effort in Delhi since Sharjeel was arrested in January. The ‘intellectuals’ we are referring to here belong to the Jamia Coordination of Committee (JCC) which shot to fame after releasing a misleading video on social media regarding Delhi Police’s crackdown on the campus on the 15th of December 2019 and it is their role in the anti-Hindu riots in Delhi that we shall focus on in this report henceforth.
Jamia Coordination Committee
The JCC has a Facebook page to its name where it provides regular updates to its audience on the events related to the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. In one such post, on the 20th of February, three days before violence erupted in the national capital, the JCC announced that it was about to complete two months of its ‘awareness campaign’ against the CAA and NRC. The post came with the hashtag ‘#Glorious_50_days’, so we are assuming here that the post was published on the day 50 days of its campaign was completed.
In the said Facebook post, the JCC wrote, “Apart from door to door Campaign, we also organized more than 10 large public talks, conducted multiple workshops with NGOs, Coaching institutes to educate students, Housewives, about the NRC CAA and NPR, so that they can further work in their locality. Our female volunteers addressed a
Hundreds of female gathering across the Delhi in different locality to make them aware of this divisive bill.” They also said that the “Role of awareness Campaign team remains highly instrumental in sensitizing common masses about the drastic consequences of NRC CAA and NPR , which finally culminated into multiple protest sites across the Delhi.”
Public awareness campaigns, of any manner, is the right of every citizen guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. However, the names of the localities mentioned in the post stuck out because these are the very same places where anti-Hindu riots had erupted in Delhi. They covered Okhla which included areas such as Zakir Nagar, Batla house, ‘Johri Farm’, Abul Fazal etc. and the Nizamuddin locality. They also campaigned extensively in Old Delhi and also covered areas such as ‘Lal Quan’ (which we assumed to be La Quan Bazaar), Turkman Gate, Chawri Bazar and Chitli Qabar among others. However, the places that stuck out were Jafrabad, Mustafabad and Hauz Rani because these were areas of intense riots in Delhi.
JCC and the Anti-Hindu Riots in Delhi
When we marked the areas JCC campaigned in with the places where intense riots had broken out, we realized that all the violence had broken out in the vicinity of the areas where JCC had campaigned and in some instances, in the same area where JCC had campaigned. As we have mentioned above, Jafrabad and Mustafabad had suffered intense riots and communal tensions had erupted in Hauz Rani.
In the map, green marks the spot where JCC campaigned, orange marks the spot where intense violence was observed between Sunday and Tuesday and blue marks the spot where both these cases apply. A similar colour pattern has been maintained in all the maps in this report. We can see from the map that all the riot pinpoints are in the same region of Delhi.
From the map, it can be seen that Jafrabad and Mustafabad, two places JCC had campaigned in was witness to extremely violent anti-Hindu riots. Another such place was Hauz Rani, which is at a significant distance from Jafrabad. Old Delhi, which lies in Central Delhi, did not witness such violence. Jaitpur, which is again at a great distance from Jafrabad, did not face such violence. Hauz Rani stands out as it is isolated from the rest of the areas but it did not escalate into violence but the Police was forced to lathi charge the anti-CAA ‘protesters’. There was an attempt to target local establishments there.
Okhla is the site of the Shaheen Bagh protests and there was great involvement of JCC here. A “dedicated team of 25 members worked continuously for 1 week in this locality.” Shaheen Bagh is the southernmost colony of Okhla. Okhla is also the Assembly Constituency AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan was elected from. Jamia Nagar also lies in Okhla. Okhla is in South Delhi district and, as such, did not witness violence but did contribute to it. Karawal Nagar is also separated from the cluster points of violent areas in the map by a short distance. However, it did witness significant violence. Karawal Nagar lies in North East Delhi.
Delhi Riots: Jaffrabad and Mustafabad
Jaffrabad and Mustafabad are two places where JCC had campaigned and which suffered major violence. In fact, the events of Jaffrabad played a major role in the most recent escalation of violence in Delhi. On Saturday, the 22nd of February, a group of over 500 Muslim women gathered near the Jafrabad Metro Station and blocked road No. 66, which connects Seelampur to Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar. Certain ‘concerned’ citizens who oppose the CAA claim that the women were incited into blocking the roads by activists associated with the Far-Left women rights group Pinjra Tod. They also claimed that violence was incited by the Pinjra Tod activists.
While Pinjra Tod activists are alleged to have incited the road blockade, it cannot be ignored that achieving an ideological objective by bringing cities to a halt was Sharjeel Imam’s idea. And it was the act of blocking the road at Jaffrabad that pushed Delhi over the edge. A day later, BJP leader Kapil Mishra demanded the removal of Anti-CAA protestors and clearance of the road within 3 days.
He emphasized that they would not listen to anyone if the Anti-CAA rioters do not shift and clear the roads within the given time. A clash also broke out between Pro-CAA and Anti-CAA groups in Maujpur near Jafrabad that day, leading to heavy stone-pelting and vandalism of public property.
Delhi Riots: A Larger Conspiracy?
One intriguing aspect of the communal tensions that we learnt while reporting from Malviya Nagar, which is near Hauz Rani, is that most of the Muslims who had entered the area were outsiders. Locals told us that all those people had come from outside and were not local Muslims in the vicinity. “There were many unrecognizable faces in the crowd,” said an employee of the temple in front of which anti-CAA ‘protesters’ had sat down. While some felt it was because the temple was near the Gol Chakkar or the roundabout, others felt that it was to send a message.
One explanation is that the ‘protesters’ came from Hauz Rani as it is nearby but it is equally likely that they came from places which were a bit farther off such Nizamuddin or Okhla, places where the JCC had campaigned. Now, we cannot say this with certainty but we can speculate on the basis of the remarks made by the residents of Malviya Nagar that reinforcements might have arrived at Malviya Nagar from these areas.
Furthermore, in drone footage released by Delhi Police, it could be seen that heaps of stones were stored on the terrace of a mosque in the riot-hit area. Not only mosques but large heaps of stones were stored on the terraces of various residences, which was indicative of the strategic effort that was put into organizing these riots. We pinpointed the locations of Masjids on the map and we discovered the presence of quite a few of them in the areas most significantly riot-hit parts of Delhi.
Apart from storing ammunition, Masjids could also have served as focal points for crowds to gather. We spotted 18 Masjids in the cluster of Jaffarabad and Mustafabad, the places where riots were the most intense and where the JCC had campaigned in.
We, at OpIndia, have constantly pointed out that there was a grand conspiracy underway ever since the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act to unleash a great evil upon the country on the backdrop of the said act. A vast network of Radical Islamic Organizations have spent a great deal of time and resource to manufacture a giant crisis in the backdrop of CAA and NRC. A student organization that is the ‘blood brother’ of the banned terrorist outfit SIMI has been involved in these violent protests.
The link between the Islamic Youth Federation that does not believe India is sovereign and Sharjeel Imam is also being investigated by the agencies. The PFI is also suspected of being involved in manufacturing the anti-CAA riots and numerous ‘activists’ associated with the PFI have been arrested across the country. Under these circumstances, and given the fact that Sharjeel Imam declared that an ‘intellectual cell’ had been established to further the goals he envisioned, there is every reason to suspect that certain ‘intellectuals’ were involved in creating the circumstances that led to the massive anti-Hindu riots in Delhi.
As we have said before, only 22 years after the Khilafat Movement had ended, Mohammed Ali Jinnah had given the call for Direct Action Day. A repeat of the Moplah Massacre might have been averted a century later but it also means that Direct Action Day is looming around the corner. And in order to prevent such a catastrophe, it is of paramount importance that members of the ‘intellectual cell’ established by Sharjeel Imam are arrested right away. Simultaneously, it is also important that the role of the JCC, if there was any, be investigated by the competent authorities.