Indians Are Supporting George Floyd - and Ignoring Police Brutality in Their Own Country - By Raksha Kumar - IAMC
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Indians Are Supporting George Floyd – and Ignoring Police Brutality in Their Own Country – By Raksha Kumar

As tens of thousands of Americans continue to protest the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last week, the world’s attention has focused on the problems of racism and police brutality in the United States. Thousands of miles away, in India, prominent public figures and Bollywood stars such as Priyanka Chopra have taken to social media to express their sadness at the way in which Floyd died.

But the U.S. protests also raise an uncomfortable question in the world’s largest democracy: Why are there no mass demonstrations over the frequent cases of police brutality in India?… In the weeks following India’s strict coronavirus lockdown that began on March 25, a gush of media reports told a story of unfettered police aggression.… Some recent police activity seems vengeful. In the past six weeks, Delhi’s police have arrested several student union leaders and other dissidents who legally protested anti-Muslim government laws in January and February – demonstrations that came to a halt primarily because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Delhi’s police force, which reports directly to the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, faced blame in February when religious violence ripped apart neighborhoods in the city’s northeast. A clash between demonstrators for and against the government’s controversial citizenship laws flared into riots after police threw stones at Muslim protesters and beat young Muslim men to death, according to the BBC. One video caught cops smashing closed-circuit TV cameras, while another showed them helping men gather stones to throw. Several reports showed that policemen stood by while the attackers went about their business, leading expert observers to describe the rioting as a state-backed pogrom. Not a single policeman has been arrested for the documented excesses during the riots.