Newspaper Editorials Condemn Delhi Police, Worry About India’s International Image

While The Hindu, Hindustan Times and Times of India expressed their stance on the Delhi riots in editorials, Indian Express chose not to.

New Delhi: As the Delhi riots continued in the northeast part of the city and resulted in the death of at least 20 people, the leading dailies came out with their stance on the issue on Wednesday morning. Multiple newspapers used editorials to make their point of view clear.

Interestingly, the Indian Express chose to stay mum on the matter. 

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi must answer: The Hindu

Titled as “A test of governance: On Delhi violence”, The Hindu took a definitive stand on the riots in its editorial this morning, holding the state police responsible in tandem with the home minister Amit Shah and in extension the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

The publication highlighted the chain of events that have taken place in the capital in the recent past, ranging from the arson and violence on December 16 in areas around Jamia Millia Islamia, attack in student hostels in Jawaharlal Nehru University on January 5 and the incident near Jamia campus when a gunman opened fire at anti-CAA protesters on January 30.

It noted the “inaction and inefficiency” of Delhi police in all these three major events, condemning the MHA’s response to the violence that took place. It emphasised that the riots have “been in the making for weeks”. It also urged the prime minister and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to take punitive measures to prove their “efficiency and administrative skills”. 

Also read: Delhi Riots: Journalists Shot at, Punched, Asked to Prove Religion

Delhi police commissioner must answer: HT

With the headline, “Delhi needs a strong police chief…”, Hindustan Times directed the majority of blame towards Amulya Patnaik, the current commissioner of the Delhi Police, in its editorial this morning. The publication put the blame on anti-CAA and pro-CAA protesters, political parties of “all hues” and a “disproportionate amount” on the Bharatiya Janata Party.

But much of the blame should be “reserved” for the state police while “some of the blame” is of the MHA. Highlighting the police’s assessment and poor planning, it says situations could have been stopped from spiralling out. While it appreciates Shaheen Bagh for their peaceful protest and calls it the “the world’s most successful Occupy movement”, it also holds the police responsible for not moving the protesters on an “alternative site” on Day 1 itself. 

India’s international image suffers: ToI

Titled as “Delhi riots, again: India’s international image will take a beating. Douse Delhi fires before they spread”, Times of India highlights the impact the riots may have on India’s international image. It speaks of how Donald Trump hailed India’s “communal harmony” while parts of the city witnessed the raging violence.

The newspaper takes a direct hit at the Delhi police, saying “the police put some of its own personnel’s lives at risk by deploying too few men to take on rioters” while it just says the Union home ministry cannot “skirt” its responsibility.

Condemning the violence, it highlighted the “ominous signs” which surfaced due to BJP leader Kapil Mishra leading a mob of CAA supporters, followed by Mishra’s “provocative remarks”. Criticising the police for its “monumental incompetence”, it also mentions that a more “professional” police force would have acted better. Citing the history of communal violence in 1984, it urged the politicians to “introspect” for the failure so as to India is not “shamed” before the world.