New Delhi: Days after a row broke out over Bloomsbury India’s decision to withdraw publication of a book on Delhi riots, a city-based publisher is now set to launch a new book on the findings of an independent panel into the violence with several seemingly contentious claims.
Titled Delhi Riots: Conspiracy Unraveled, the 150-page book alleges that “radical” Islamic groups like Pinjra Tod, the alumni association of Jamia Millia Islamia, Popular Front of India, among others, instigated the riots in north-east Delhi by exploiting the Muslim community for their “ulterior objective of dividing the country on communal lines”.
It also claims that the violence that rocked the national capital between 23 and 26 February was pre-planned and the Hindu community was caught unawares.
Edited by journalists Aditya Bhardwaj and Ashish Kumar, the book primarily draws on the findings of a six-member panel of a Delhi-based trust, Call for Justice.
The panel was led by Justice Ambadas Joshi, a retired Bombay High Court judge. A retired IAS and IPS officer each were on the panel too. Its report had been submitted to Union Home Minister Amit Shah in June.
Prabhat Prakashan is set to launch the book in English and Hindi (Dilli Dangey: Saazish Ka Khulasa) in early September. ThePrint has accessed a copy of the manuscript.
“The reason for publishing this book on such a sensitive subject is to help in bringing the truth forward. Religious fundamentalism patronised by political parties must be exposed and this book helps to do that so we decided to take up this project,” said Prabhat Kumar, director, Prabhat Prakashan.
This is the second book on Delhi riots with similar claims that is set for publication. Last week, Garuda Prakashan announced the publication of Delhi Riots: The Untold Story after Bloomsbury India withdrew just ahead of the book launch citing “responsibility towards society”.
The book reportedly claims that Delhi riots were an “urban warfare”, “engineered by radical Muslims and Urban Maoists”.
Other claims in the book
In the manuscript of Delhi Riots: Conspiracy Unravelled, the other key findings include allegations that the local leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the ‘Islamic’ groups mentioned used anti-CAA protests to fan the spread of misinformation and hate speech campaigns after the assembly elections in Delhi.
The move was a part of their bid to augment the hate-speech narrative and link it with emotions, fear and religion, claims the book. It adds that the groups managed to get the messages delivered from mosques in daily meetings and through loudspeakers in north-east Delhi localities several times a day.
It alleges that after the necessary planning, these groups executed the attacks using large quantities of stones, petrol bombs, catapults, country-made guns, acids packets, among others. Around 7,000 outsiders in the age group of 15-35 joined the misinformed local residents and led these attacks, it claims.
Organisations such as the Bhim Army joined hands with these groups and mobilised their supporters to join anti-CAA protestors by tagging the sensitive issue of reservation to the mix, it claims.
The timing of the attacks was planned, as evident from activist Umar Khalid’s comments on 17 February in which he warned of protests during the visit of US President Donald Trump, alleges the book.
It claims the Hindu community was unaware of the planning. The purported testimonies of some witnesses/victims reveal that on 24 February, Muslim schools were closed and even the parents of Muslims children withdrew their wards from other schools at around 10 am, just prior to the attacks.
Of the 53 people who were killed in the riots, a majority were Muslim.
The book also seeks to present a detailed analysis of how social media was misused during these riots.
“The conspirators behind the riots and the anti-CAA protests… exploited the narrative power of the internet to spread misinformation, propaganda, and to influence the public to follow their propaganda. These were used by the radical groups since inception to spread false propaganda, among the masses and also to manage, co-ordinate the protests as well as riots among the groups which were spread over a wide geographical area,” it claims.
The writer is associated with RSS. He is research director at Vichar Vinimay Kendra, a New Delhi-based think-tank, and has authored two books on RSS, and recently-released ‘Ramjnmabhoomi: Truth, Evidence, Faith’.
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