delhi riots

The Forum for Constitutional Rights and Democratic Freedoms (FCRDF) was constituted in August, 2020, after discussion among its Principal Members, comprising both individuals and organizations, all representing different constituencies. All were concerned with the erosion of constitutional rights and democratic freedoms in the last few years and came together on a common platform to stem the tide. The groups represented are a) several Armed Forces Veterans; b) the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) representing people’s organizations of the poor and disadvantaged; c) the Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), made up of former civil servants; d)civil society organisations and concerned citizens; e) the Indian Cultural Forum, deeply involved with cultural issues.

This is our first statement on behalf of the FCRDF.

We write to express our full support, in principle, for the statement ‘We will not be silenced’ made by Harsh Mander on September 4, 2020.  We agree with him that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy as alleged by the Delhi Police. On the contrary, they have been caused by hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.

We stand with Harsh Mander, him, Professor Apoorvanand and their fellow activists. Neither their voices nor ours will be silenced as we speak for truth and freedom.  The ringing words of Harsh Mander’s statement, especially those of the last paragraph, bear repetition and have our endorsement:

“We declare here – and hope those holding highest office in the country hear us loud and clear – that the government will never succeed in silencing us, and will never succeed in taking away from us the dream we inherited from our freedom struggle, the dream of together building a country which is just, and equal, and kind.”

Admiral (retd.) L. Ramdas, former Chief of Naval Staff

Aruna Roy, MazdoorKisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)

Deb Mukharji, IFS (Retd.), former High Commissioner to Bangladesh, CCG

Dr. Ganesh Devy, civil society organizations and concerned citizens

Githa Hariharan, writer, Indian Cultural Forum


We will not be silenced”

The Delhi Police believes that there was a conspiracy behind the communal violence in Delhi during the third week of February.

We agree.

But the actual conspiracy was a very different one from the one which Delhi Police is propagating.

The truth is that not just the Delhi 2020 carnage; no major episode of communal violence is spontaneous: it is always planned, organized and facilitated.

Such violence requires first the systematic creation of hatred. In Delhi we saw the build-up during the Delhi elections of a climate of hatred spawned by hate speech by senior leaders targeting the protestors against CAA NRC NPR. This was led from the front by the union home minister, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and several other cabinet and BJP party leaders. The outcome was the spread of unprecedented levels of toxic communal venom, unmatched in any previous election in Delhi.

But beyond the manufacture of hatred and the organization of the violence, the critical factor in any riot conspiracy is the role of the state, and particularly the police. No riot can go on for more than a few hours except if the government wishes for it to do so.

There is massive evidence of the complicit partisan role of the police in the Delhi violence. I have spent a lot of time with the victim survivors of the Delhi carnage. I have heard hundreds of testimonies from them about the role of the police enabling, encouraging and actually indulging in hate violence.

The video of policemen tormenting four young men lying on the ground, among who Faizan subsequently died, is telling. The police while beating the men prone on the ground are taunting them by asking them to sing the national anthem; it was clear that they are punishing them for the protests, in which the national anthem had become an iconic symbol of the protests, of resistance, of unity and of solidarity.

This was the conspiracy behind the Delhi communal violence. It was a bid by the Indian state, aided by the Delhi police, to punish and crush the largest non-violent protests that independent India has seen.

The police story is quite the opposite. According to them, it was the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protests which were the conspiracy, and that the non-violence of the protests was only a facade.

In pursuit of this story, every day the Special Branch of the Delhi Police, which normally investigates grave crimes like terror, is busy for the past months summoning mostly young people, and sometimes seniors, grilling them, intimidating them, and sometimes – as Umar Khalid has testified – forcing them create false evidence.

Large numbers of young people are today languishing in prison for months without bail in the name of this so-called conspiracy.

We are gathered here today above all in the defence and solidarity with all of these young people.

Yes, they and we did participate in the non-violent movement against CAA NRC NPR, and we are proud to have done so.

During the protests some WhatsApp groups were made. Now every word exchanged in these groups are being examined with a defective microscope by the police, their meaning and context deliberately and mischievously misinterpreted, the truth ripped into shreds and reimagined to create the mythology of a conspiracy of hate, violence and insurrection.

There were significantly other WhatsApp groups that the police themselves admit to, wherein indeed people are actively calling for and organizing the violence on those dates. None of these are being the subject to any investigation of a conspiracy.

Our protests, and those of the young people now in our prisons, were to uphold the Constitution, and the idea of an inclusive and humane country of equal citizenship, which is the proudest legacy of our freedom struggle.

The young people and we protested because we love our country dearly, and we seek to make this country better for all its citizens, of every religion, caste, class and gender, by holding the state accountable to stand by its duties to the constitution.

It is a travesty to describe this as a crime against the nation. Those who are seeking to create divisions and hate among us are those who are committing crimes against our country.

The objective of the government is transparent; to destroy the basic guarantees and freedoms of our constitution.

The effort of the Indian state, facilitated by the Delhi Police, is to crush our voices, our dissent, and our struggles to uphold our constitution.

We declare here – and hope those holding highest office in the country hear us loud and clear – that the government will never succeed in silencing us, and will never succeed in taking away from us the dream we inherited from our freedom struggle, the dream of together building a country which is just, and equal, and kind .

Harsh Mander


Endorsed by:


1A M Khan, Jt Sec, LIC Retired Employees’ Asso & Sec, Chitra Film Society202Manabendra N Roy, IAS (Retd)
2A Selvaraj, IRS (Retd)203Manisha Gupte, Feminist Activist
3Abha Bhalya204Manoranjan Mohanty
4Abha Sur205Marina, Asha Niketan School
5Abhay206Mazher Hussan, COVA
6Abhay Shirekar207Meena Gupta, IAS (Retd)
7Abhijit Dasgupta, Retired Teacher, Delhi University208Melanie P Kumar
8Abhijit Sengupta, IAS (Retd)209Mendonca Edward
9Abhilash, Secretary, Gram Seva Sangh210MG Devasahayam, IAS (Retd)
10Abinash Dash Choudhury, Jadavpur University211Mira Shiva, Public Health Physician
11Achin Vanaik, Retd Professor, University of Delhi212Mohan Rao, former professor at the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU
12Achuthan Palat213Mohan Sharma
13Aditi Mehta, IAS (Retd)214Mohan Trivedi, Professor
14Aditya Nigam215Mridula Garg, Writer and Freedom Lover
15Admiral LRamdas, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM216Mrigank, Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU)
16Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, PVSM, AVSM217MS Chahal, IAS (Retd)
17Aftab Seth, IFS (Retd)218MT Ansari, Professor, University of Hyderabad
18Ahana Rao, Architect219Muralidharan, General Secretary, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled
19Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, AVSM, VSM220MY Rao, IAS (Retd)
20Ajai Kumar, IFoS(Retd)221N P Chekkutty, Senior journalist
21Ajay Skaria, Historian222Najeeb Jang, IAS (Retd)
22Ajit Singh Yadav, convenor, Lok Morcha223Najid Hussain, Scientist
23AK Samanta, IPS (Retd)224Nandita Das
24Albert Longley Dkhar, Principal, St Anthony’s College, Shillong225Nandita Narain, Delhi University
25Alok Perti, IAS (Retd)226Naomi Magh, St Xavier College Jalukie
26Alok Rai227Narendra Sisodia, IAS (Retd)
27Aloke B Lal, IPS (Retd)228Naseeruddin Shah
28Amanulla Khan, Former President, AIIE Association229Natasha Bhadwar
29Amita Baviskar, Ashoka University230Navaroze Contractor, Artists & Film Maker
30Amita Joseph231Navrekha Sharma, IFS (Retd)
31Amitabh Mathur, IPS (Retd)232Nayana Trivedi, Physician
32Amitabha Pande, IAS (Retd)233NC Saxena, IAS (Retd)
33Amiya Kumar Dev, former vice chancellor of Vidyasagar University234Neera Chandoke
34Anand Archak, President, Insurance Employees’ Union,235Nikhil Dey
35Anand Arni, R&AW (Retd)236Niranjan Pant, IA&AS (Retd)
36Anand Patwardhan, Film Maker237Nisha Shiurkar, Writer
37Anbarasan P, Department of Mass communication, Tezpur University238Nitin Desai, IES (Retd)
38Angana Chatterji, Scholar239NK Raghupathy, IAS (Retd)
39Anil Sadgopal240Noor Mohammad, IAS (Retd)
40Animesh Das, Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU)241Noor Zaheer, National Secretary, Indian People’s Theatre Association
41Anita Agnihotri, IAS (Retd)242Nuzhat Kazmi, Professor, JMI and Ahmar Raza, retd Scientist
42Anjali Kanitkar, Associate Professor ( retd), Founder Trustee-AROEHAN243Ordetta Mendoza, Co-ordinator of Programmes, XB
43Anjali Monteiro, Filmmaker and Academic244Padma Venkataraman
44Anna Dani, IAS (Retd)245Pankaj Bisht, Writer
45Annamma Philip FMM, Secretary General, Xavier Board246Parveen Talha, IRS (Retd)
46Annamma Philip, Xavier Board of Higher Education247Paul Mat,hew Teacher of Journalism & Mass Communication
47Annie Namala248PGJ Nampoothiri, IPS (Retd)
48Anthony Dias, Social Scientist249PK Lahiri, IAS (Retd)
49Anupama Potluri, University of Hyderabad250Poile Sengupta
50Anuradha Kapur251Poonam kaushik General Secretary Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan Delhi
51Aparna Sen252Poornima, Artist and Organic farmer
52Apoorvanand, Teacher and Writer253PR Dasgupta, IAS (Retd)
53AR Vasavi254Prabhu Ghate, IAS (Retd)
54Arati Chokshi, Retired Scientist & Activist255Prabhu Mohapatra, Department of History, University of Delhi,
55Ardhendu Sen, IAS (Retd)256Prabir Purkayastha
56Arif Ghauri, IRS (Retd)257Pradeep K Deb, IAS (Retd)
57Arun Kumar, Retired Professor JNU258Prakash Louis
58Aruna Roy, IAS (Resigned)259Pramod Mujumdar, Co-ordinator, SALOKHA
59Aruna Sabane, President Maher sanstha260Pramod Munghate, RTM Nagpur University
60Arundhati Dhuru, National Alliance of People’s Movements261Pranab S Mukhopadhyay, IAS (Retd)
61Arup Kumar Sen262Pranab Talukdar
62AS Dulat, IPS (Retd)263Prasad Charasala
63Asha Vombatkere, School Teacher264Prasad Tadepalli
64Ashim Jain265Prashant Olalekar
65Ashok Kumar Sharma, IFoS (Retd)266Pravesh Sharma, IAS (Retd)
66Ashok Kumar Sharma, IFS (Retd)267Preeti Sampat, Academic
67Ashok Vajpeyi, IAS (Retd)268Prem Verma, Convenor, Jharkhand Nagrik Prayas
68Ashraf Ali Basheer Ahàmed, Constituion Protection Group269Prerna, concerned citizen
69Ashraf Ali Bashir Ahamed270Priti Turakhia, concerned citizen
70Atamjit Singh271Professor G Haragopal, NLSIU
71Atreyee Day, concerned citizen272PSS Thomas, IAS (Retd)
72Aurobindo Behera, IAS (Retd)273Purendra Prasad, Professor of Sociology, University of Hyderabad
73Avinash Mohananey, IPS (Retd)274Purwa Bharadwaj
74B N Poojary, General Secretary, LIC Retired Employees Association275Purwa Bharadwaj Writer
75Baghambar Pattanaik, President, Anti-Slavery India276Pushpamala N
76Balaji Narasimhan277R Vijay, professor in economics, University of Hyderabad
77Benny Kuruvilla278Rabin Chakraborty, retd Teacher, Calcutta University
78Bezwada Wilson279Rachel Chatterjee, IAS (Retd)
79Bindu T Desai MD280Radhika Chopra, Sociologist
80Brigadier VHM Prasad281Raghunandana Sathamarshana, Kannada poet, playwright, stage-director
81Brijesh Kumar, IAS (Retd)282Rahul Khullar, IAS (Retd)
82Brinelle D’souza, JSA-MUMBAI, JCoR-West India283Rahul Mali, Anubhav Shiksha kendr
83C Rammanohar Reddy, Editor, The India Forum284Rajiv Lochan Sah, Editor Nainital Samachar
84Captain (IN) RV Singh285Rajni Bakshi
85Captain (IN) S Prabhala, VSM286Rajni Palriwala, Professor of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics
86Cavery Bopaiah, Swaraj India287Raju Rajagopal, Hindus for Human Rights (org) USA
87Chakradhar288Raju Sharma, IAS (Retd)
88Chaman Lal289Rama Shanker Singh, Researcher
89Chandra Krishnappa290Ramani Venkatesan, IAS (Retd)
90Chandrakant Patil291Ramesh Kumar, concerned citizen
91Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan, IAS (Retd)292Ramkumar B, Research Investigator, NCBC
92Chukka Srinivas293Ramlal Bhatt
93Colonel Ali Ahmed294Rana Banerji, IAS (Retd)
94Colonel Ashwin Baindur295Rani Day, filmmaker, editor
95Colonel Dinesh Kumar296Ranjeet Kindo SJ, Director, Tribal Research and Training Centre
96Colonel Pavan Nair, VSM297Rashmi Shukla Sharma, IAS (Retd)
97Colonel R Chidambaram298Ratna Pathak Shah
98Colonel SK Dhar299Ravi Budhiraja, IAS (Retd)
99Commander Sati Taneja300Ravi Vira Gupta, IAS (Retd)
100Daisy Helen, Xavier Board301Ravindra Rukmini Pandharinath, Writer
101Deb Mukharji, IFS (Retd)302Raza Mir, Professor of Management, William Paterson University
102Deep Joshi303Rekha Awasthi , Janwadi Lekhak Sangh & Naya Path
103Deepa Hari, IRS (Resigned)304RM Premkumar, IAS (Retd)
104Deepak Sanan, IAS (Retd)305Roby Rajan, The Backwaters Collective
105Deepika D’Souza306Rohan D’Souza, ASAFAS, Kyoto University
106Delia Antao, Nirmala Institute of Education307Rohini Hensman (writer and researcher)
107Denzil Fernandes, Executive Director, Indian Social Institute308Rosamma Thomas, Journalist
108Dunu Roy309RP Shahi
109DW Karuna, Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University310S Durga Bhavani, Professor, University of Hyderabad
110EAS Sarma311S Gopal, concerned citizen
111EV Ramakrishnan, Author, Academic312S Satyabhama, IAS (Retd)
112Felix Padel, Anthropologist313Sagari R Ramdas, Veterinary Scientist, Food Sovereignty Alliance
113Fr Cedric Prakash SJ, Human Rights activist314Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party (India)
114G Sankaran, IC&CES (Retd)315Sanjeev Kumar, Writer and Associate Professor, Deshbandhu College (DU)
115Ganesh Visputay, Poet, painter and translator316Sannybhai
116Geeta Kapur, Art Historian317Santanu Chacraverti
117Geetha SK, Insurance Corporation Employees Union, Bangalore318Santhanam A, Lawyers Fraternity Tamil Nadu (LFTN)
118Geetha Thoopal, IRAS (Retd)319Satish Deshpande
119George Karuvelil320Satwant Reddy, IAS (Retd)
120George Pulikuthiyil321Satya Sagar, Associate Editor, Countercurrents
121George Thadathil sdb, Principal & President, AIACHE Salesian College322Shabnam Hashmi
122GG Parikh, President, Yusuf Meherali Centre323Shafi Alam, IPS (Retd)
123Gita Jayaraj, Researcher/Writer324Shailesh Gandhi
124Githa Hariharan325Shalmali Guttal, Researcher
125GN Devy326Shanti Maitree
126Goldie Zaki, St Paul Institute of Professional Studies327Sharachchandra Lele, Environmental Reseacher
127Gopalan Balagopal, IAS (Retd)328Sharad Behar, IAS (Retd)
128Gourisankar Ghosh, IAS (Retd)329Shashi Deshpande
129Gurunagesh330Shaunak Phadnis, student, EFLU
130Gyan Prakash, Princeton University331Sheba Chhachhi
131H Sarwar Usmani, concerned citizen332Shekhar Pathak, Historian and Editor PAHAR
132Harbans Mukhia , Former Professor and Rector, JNU333Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, IFS (Retd)
133Hindal Tyabji, IAS (Retd)334Shiva Shankar
134Hiren Gohain335Shivangi Bhasin
135Hony Lieutenant Sham Lal336Shoma A Chatterji, Journalist and Author
136HS Gujral, IFoS (Retd)337Shreekumar, Farmer and activist
137Humayun Mursal, Executive president, Hindi Hain HumHindostan Hamara338Shruti Parthasarathy, Independent Writer and Art Historian
138Indira Vijaysimha, Poorna Learning Center339Siby K George, Philosopher
139Indranee Dutta, Retired Professor, OKD Institute of Social Change and Development340Siddharth Dube, Writer
140Indu Prakash Singh State Level Shelter Monitoring Committee341Siraj Hussain, IAS (Retd)
141J Suresh, Joint Secretary, SCZIEF (AIIEA)342Sonalini Mirchandani, IFS (Resigned)
142Jacob Kujur343Soundravalli Kulandaiswamy
143Jagannath Dubey, concerned citizen344Sowmya Dechamma C C, University of Hyderabad
144Jagdeep Chhokar, Former Professor and Dean, IIM Ahmedabad345SP Ambrose, IAS (Retd)
145James TJ, Centre for Environmental Studies, Sacred Heart College346Squadron Leader SC Das
146Jasveen Jairath, concerned citizen347SR Hiremath
147Javid Chowdhury, IAS (Retd)348Subhash Ware, Convener, Surajy Sena, IRSE (Retd)
148Jawed Usmani, IAS (Retd)349Subhashini Ali
149Jawhar Sircar, IAS (Retd)350Subhasis Bandyopadhyay, Associate Professor, IIEST
150Jayant Pawar, Playright-Writer351Subhendu Dasgupta, Former faculty University of Calcutta
151Jayati Ghosh, JNU, New Delhi352Subodh Lal, IPoS (Resigned)
152Jerry Pinto353Suchetana Banerjee, Asst Prof, Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts
153Jiten Nandi, Editor, Manthan Samayiki354Sudhir Chandra
154John Ishvaradas Abdallah, Social Justice & Human Rights Activist355Sujatha Singh, IFS (Retd)
155John Mathew, Krea University356Sujit Jadhao, Research Scholar, RTMNU
156Joseph Prabhu, Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus), California State University357Sukumar Muralidharan
157Joseph Puthenpura358Sukumar Muralidharan, Journalist and Journalism instructor
158Joseph Xavier, Director, Indian Social Institute359Sundar Burra, IAS (Retd)
159Josna, Critical Quest360Sunil Mitra, IAS (Retd)
160Julio Ribeiro, IPS (Retd)361Suresh K Goel, IFS (Retd)
161Jyoti Punwani, Freelance journalist362Sushil Dubey, IFS (Retd)
162Jyotirmaya Sharma, Professor363Swashpawan Singh
163K John Koshy, IAS (Retd)364Sylvia Karpagam, Public health doctor
164K Saleem Ali, IPS (Retd)365T Ramakrishnan, Sathyamangalam
165K Satchidanandan366T Vijay Kumar, The South Forum
166K Srilata (Poet and Professor, Chennai)367Tadapatla Ratnabai
167K Sudhir, Architect368Tapan Bose Filmmaker
168K Sujatha Rao, IAS (Retd)369Thanksy Thekkekera, IAS (Retd)
169Kalyani Chaudhuri, IAS (Retd)370The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia
170Kalyani Menon Sen, Independent researcher371Tirlochan Singh, IAS (Retd)
171Kamal Jaswal, IAS (Retd)372TM Krishna
172Kamalanand Jha373Tony Raj
173Karuna M, Chennai374Tushar A Gandhi, Writer & Activist
174Katyayani Vidmahe , Academic, Prajaswamika Rachayithrula Vedika375Uday Gadekar, Gen secy, Insurance Employees Union, Dharwad Employees’ Union
175Kavery Nambisan, Surgeon and Writer376Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda, Asst Prof, The EFL University
176Keshav Desiraju, IAS (Retd)377Umesh Nazir, Indian People’s Theatre Association
177Kirity Roy378Usha Raman, Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad
178Kopal, Assistant Professor, AUD379V Srinivasan, Chennai Metropol Construction & Unorganised Workers Union
179KP Fabian, IFS (Retd)380Vappala Balachandran, IPS (Retd)
180KP Jayasankar, Filmmaker and Academic381Varghese Theckanath sg
181KP Sasi382Varun Aiyer, Artist, Teacher, Citizen
182Krishnan UnniP, Novelist and Poet in Malyalam and in English383Venkatesh Athreya, Professor of Economics (RETD), Bharathidasan University
183KS Sidhu, IAS (Retd)384Vibha Maurya
184Kumar Prashant, Gandhian Scholar-Activist385Vibha Puri Das
185Lakshmi Goparaju, Georgetown University386Vijaya Latha Reddy, IFS (Retd)
186Lalit Mathur, IAS (Retd)387Vinay Jain
187Lalita Ramdas, Citizen, Educator, Activist388Vinay Lal, Historian
188Laltu (Harjinder Singh), Hindi poet and writer389Vinod Vyasulu, Formerly RBI Chair at the Institute of Social and Economic Change
189Lok Morcha390Virendra Yadav, Hindi literary critic
190Lourdu Raj SJ391Virginius Xaxa, Sociologist
191M M P Singh , Janwadi lekhak sangh & naya path392Vivan Sundaram, Artist
192M Venissa, Principal, St Agnes College393VN Sharma, Retired SAIL Executive
193M.H. Jawahirullah, Ex-MLA and President, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi394VP Raja, IAS (Retd)
194MA Kalam, Professor of Anthropology, Chennai395Wajahat Habibullah, IAS (Retd)
195Madan Meena, Adivasi Academy396Walter Fernandes, Director, North Eastern Social Research Centre
196Madhu Bhaduri, IFS (Retd)397William Sequeira
197Madhulika Reddy, Researcher398Wing Commander CAV Murthy
198Madhusree Mukerjee, Writer399Xavier John Bosco, Andhra Loyola College
199Madhusudhan, Theatre Activist400Yasmeen Lukmani, Professor (Retd), University of Mumbai
200Mahua Dutta, Writer401Yogesh Wanjari
201Major General SG Vombatkere, VSM402Yousuf Saeed, Filmmaker


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