New Delhi: Condemning the communal violence that gripped parts of the national capital last month as a consequence of protests against the new citizenship law, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury has called for a court-monitored independent probe into it in a time-bound manner.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, he referred to videos claiming that the police allegedly aided the violent attackers and said the perpetrators of the violence must be brought to book.
"The ghastly communal violence in Delhi is strongly condemned and a court-monitored, independent investigation into these crimes must be conducted in a time-bound fashion. The perpetrators of this violence must be severely punished under law.
"Video footage going viral on social media shows how the police aided and abetted the criminals who perpetrated such violent attacks. This must be thoroughly investigated by a time-bound judicial enquiry," Yechury said.
Speaking on the issues discussed in the party's politburo meeting, he said the politburo strongly condemned the home minister’s statement on the usage of face-recognition technology for identifying those responsible for the communal violence.
"The government itself has admitted before the courts that this technology had an accuracy rate of only two per cent in 2018, which dropped to a mere one per cent in 2019, unable to make even a gender distinction.
"This opens up possibilities for harassment and persecution of innocent people. Moreover, there is no legal framework or any judicial order to use such technology for such identification," the CPI(M) general secretary said.
He added that a relief panel of the CPI(M)'s Delhi State Committee was working to provide relief to those families who lost members in the communal violence, treat the injured and rehabilitate those whose houses were burnt and livelihoods snatched away.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also said peaceful protests will continue unless the government took some measures.
He alleged that the judiciary was being "pressured" by the executive and it must be set right.
"The judiciary in India is not only independent but has a very important role to safeguard the rule of law under our Constitution. Recent happenings of delays in the delivery of justice, midnight transfers of high court judges and the delay in taking up the challenges to the abrogation of Article 370 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) have not evoked confidence among people and are not in the spirit of their utmost expectations.
“There are criticisms from many quarters that the judiciary is being pressured by the executive and it is abdicating its responsibility. This is unfortunate and must be set right urgently," Yechury said.
He said the CPI(M) politburo welcomed that Srinagar MP and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was released after being under home detention for over seven months.
"However, the clampdown in Kashmir continues. The draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) was invoked against former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Thousands of people continue to be detained even after seven months. Lakhs of livelihoods have been destructed. Normal day-to-day activities simply do not exist, Yechury said, adding that Jammu and Kashmir should be given full statehood with a special status, as it had under the Constitution before the abrogation of Article 370.