By Priyanka Kavish

The mob violence raging across Delhi since February 23 now appears to have been carefully fuelled and nurtured using social media. As homes, shops, vehicles and even grandmothers went up in flames, with the Delhi Police doing little to contain the carnage, Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp were flooded with videos of men and women calling for violence in the name of religion.

The toll in the violence has crossed 40 and more than 200 people have been injured. The matter had been taken to the Delhi High Court and on February 26, the Justice S Muralidhar had questioned the police as to why there had been no FIRs lodged against leaders of the ruling party for their inflammatory speeches. He had said, “You showed alacrity in lodging FIRs for arson, why aren’t you showing the same for registering FIR for these speeches?” Interestingly, shortly after he was shunted out, the next bench hearing the same case granted the police a month’s time to deal with the matter of filing FIRs.

While Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma have become the poster bys for hate speech, Mishra being blamed as the immediate trigger for the Delhi violence, there has been a network of right-wing elements slowly spreading hate through social media. With followers in thousands and lakhs, there are some people who are openly calling for violence against minorities.

One such woman is Ragni Tiwari. A ‘dharmyodha’ as she calls herself, she is a member of the Rashtriya Azad Manch. Her profile on Facebook which contains incendiary videos and rants against the minorities. At the heart of the Delhi violence, she is seen mobilizing people to come and fight against those of the minority religion. She makes no bones about being a Hinduvadi. In one video she is seen blocking a road in Jafrabad in retaliation to the Shaheen Bagh protest, not allowing people or vehicles to go through. During the heat of the Delhi violence, she is seen abusing the Delhi police for their inaction against the rioters whom she claims to be Muslims.

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