“Paying the Price For His Humanity”: DS Bindra, Who Served Langar, Booked For Delhi Riots

Social Commentary

“Paying the Price For His Humanity”: DS Bindra, Who Served Langar, Booked For Delhi Riots

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Months after the streets of Delhi erupted in violence, leaving over 50 people dead and 200 injured, the police continue to file chargesheets against anti-CAA protestors.

The latest name to appear in this list is DS Bindra, a Sikh man who became a familiar face during the February protests after he set up a langar at Shaheen Bagh to make sure all protestors were fed. A few reports said he had sold his house for the cause.

Now in a chargesheet, filed by the Delhi police in the death of constable Ratan Lal, Bindra has been accused along with others for organising the Delhi riots. Significantly, The Quint reported, he hasn’t been accused of any violence, including killing the constable.

“What wrong have I committed? Is serving langar a crime,” he asked on Thursday, denying both allegations that he took part in violence and that he was the main organiser of the protests.

“As I told you, I just put up a langar. This is part of my Sikh faith. People from every community ate at the langar without discrimination,” he said.

The police however say that they have based their allegations on a number of testimonies, including that of two police officers who were posted in the area.

The news was met with outrage from some sections on social media with several, including Umar Khalid, saying he was being framed.

The journalist who broke the story said a lot was upsetting about the chargesheet, including the police’s supposed evidence that Bindra had instigated violence.

He said Bindra was paying the price for his humanity.

A professor urged citizens to show solidarity in these trying times, and offered to help Bindra in any way he can.

While the police continue to carry out their investigations into a possible motive, Bindra was quoted as saying that his only “motive was love and brotherhood”. “Instead of recognising our efforts, we are being maligned,” he said.

In February, Bindra had been on the receiving end of a lot of praise for the generosity displayed by setting up the langar. Bindra was also very vocal about his stand against the CAA, and went live on Facebook regularly from Shaheen Bagh to share his views.

With the police now naming him in the chargesheet, and a number of social media commenters attempting to link him to opposition parties, the debate over his role is not likely to die down soon. Let’s hope he gets the justice he deserves.