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Hindu American Foundation condemns Delhi violence, seeks arrest of perpetrators


The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) on Wednesday condemned the violent clashes in parts of Delhi in which at least 25 people have been killed, and called for the arrest of the perpetrators regardless of their religious affiliation.
In a statement, HAF Executive Director Suhag Shukla urged Indian law enforcement officers to uphold their duty to protect the public and maintain law and order.
"We strongly condemn the violence, loss of life, and destruction of places of worship in India this week. There is no religious, historical, or political justification possible for what is happening in New Delhi. Hindu Americans stand for peace, pluralism, democracy, equal rights, and the rule of law here at home in the United States, in India, and anywhere in the world," the statement read.
"Those people battling in the streets -- throwing stones, acid, brandishing firearms, setting fire to businesses and places of worship -- are all violating the law. The perpetrators, no matter the religious community to which they belong, should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We urge Indian law enforcement officers to uphold their duty to protect the public and better maintain law and order. And we urge all those making inflammatory statements to take stock of the destructive impact of their words and cease," it added.
Shukla said that the violence triggered a renewed need for greater understanding and dialogue among religious community leaders, civil society, and Indian government officials.
"Media, non-governmental organisations, and observers from all communities must understand their role and duty in informing rather than inciting the citizenry, in defusing this tragic situation," the statement read.
"Hindu Americans have faith that through frank and honest dialogue, respect for rule of law, and the upholding of the rights and freedoms of all India's citizens, this violence can be both be stopped now, as well as be prevented in the future," it added.
Violence had erupted in Delhi on Sunday evening after groups protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and those supporting it indulged in stone-pelting at each other.
From there it escalated and spread to other areas of northeast Delhi including Chand Bagh, Mustafabad, Brijpuri, Shiv Vihar and Noor Ilahi on Monday and Tuesday.

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First Published: Feb 26 2020 | 11:29 PM IST

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