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Indian communists launch emergency appeal after anti-Muslim pogroms

THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) has launched an emergency appeal to fund relief efforts following a week of devastating anti-Muslim pogroms in Delhi in which more than 40 people have been killed and hundreds injured.

The Solidarity Relief Committee will ensure that relief work “is not communalised and is secular in its reach,” aiming to provide assistance to all regardless of religious beliefs, the CPI-M said.

The violence flared after local politician Kapil Mishra, a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told a rally last Sunday that unless police cleared the streets of protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he and his supporters would do it themselves.

The much criticised CAA allows minorities from neighbouring countries a fast track to Indian citizenship, but not Muslims. It requires Indian citizens to present documents as part of a national register, raising fears that Muslims will be targeted, potentially ending up in detention camps and becoming stateless.

Hindu nationalists went on the rampage across Delhi, shooting and beating Muslims and setting fire to homes and businesses.

Scores were killed, and the Ashok Nagar Delhi Mosque was burned down. Police were seen breaking CCTV cameras and taunting injured Muslims, filming their agony on smartphones in footage which circulated on social media.

“The areas where the violence took place in north-east Delhi have a large population comprising of unorganised workers, working-class and lower middle-class households of both communities.

“Thousands have been victims of the violence in different ways. Suffering and distress is widespread in the affected areas,” a CPI-M statement said.

The party has also called for an investigation led by a Supreme Court judge, warning against attempts at a “whitewash,” insisting that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

It said that the role of the New Delhi Police in facilitating the violence must be scrutinised as part of any probe.

The CPI-M called for urgent donations. Cheques should be made out to : Communist Party of India (Marxist).

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