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Cop brutality blamed on ‘tukde-tukde’ narrative

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been regularly raising the issue of the police targeting innocent people

By Sanjay K. Jha in New Delhi
  • Published 9.01.20, 2:51 AM
  • Updated 9.01.20, 2:51 AM
  • 2 mins read
Kanhaiya Kumar (PTI photo)

The Congress on Wednesday said targeting the victim instead of the culprits had become the new norm and blamed Union home minister Amit Shah for the unjust attitude of police.

While Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been regularly raising the issue of the police targeting innocent people peacefully protesting against the amended citizenship law, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told a media conference: “The police should act responsibly and enforce the rule of law but what to expect from them when the home minister repeatedly uses the term ‘tukde-tukde gang’.”

He added: “It is not Delhi police; the political leadership has been found wanting. The Prime Minister and the home minister have been provoking one group against the other. What is the message Amit Shah sends out when he says ‘tukde-tukde gang’? One section of the media has blindly legitimised this expression. What do you expect from the police when the home minister speaks this language?”

The RSS-BJP ecosystem has been describing JNU students as “tukde-tukde gang” ever since allegations had been made that the slogan “Bharat, tere tukde honge” was raised on the campus. Although student leaders like Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid were arrested and later released on bail, no chargesheet has been filed in the case so far.

The students and JNU teachers denied that such a slogan was ever used by them and allegations of a doctored video being shown by some television channels have cast a cloud on the entire case.

But student leaders like Kanhaiya and Shehla Rashid, whose entire politics is based on the save-Constitution narrative, have continued to be described as “tukde-tukde gang”. The ambit of this term got widened over the years, coupled with another mischievous phrase — “urban Naxals” — to include other critics of the government, particularly the intelligentsia.

The Prime Minister has encouraged his supporters to describe a section of society as traitors.

Former finance minister Arun Jaitley had castigated Rahul Gandhi for his visit to JNU, wondering on the floor of Parliament how a leader of the principal Opposition party could associate himself with the “tukde-tukde gang”.

Opposition leaders and political scientists have repeatedly cautioned that legitimising this false perception about a section of society that is willing to question government policies could have dangerous portends and create an element of institutional bias against the targeted group.

The Congress now sees the police action in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Gujarat as a manifestation of this bias.

The Congress spokesperson said: “India is a vast and diverse country and fault-lines do exit in various forms. Successive governments have tried to address, overcome and manage these fault-lines to create peace in the society. This government, however, creates new fault-lines and exploits them for petty political gains. No wonder the police were standing outside the JNU gate when goons where running amok on the campus. And finally, the student who was the worst victim of violence was booked.”

Priyanka had tweeted in connection with the JNU violence: “There is something deeply sickening about a government that allows and encourages such violence to be inflicted on their own children. India has an established global reputation as a liberal democracy. Now Modi-Shah’s goons are rampaging through our universities, spreading fear among our children, who should be preparing for a better future. To add insult to injury, BJP leaders are all over the media pretending that it wasn’t their goons who unleashed this violence. The people are not deceived.”

Former BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha tweeted: “Treating the victims as accused is the new normal in the criminal justice system of India. Please complain to Delhi police only at your risk.”