Communal violence was to uproot elected govt: Delhi police riots chargesheet

Final chargesheet alleges a “conspiracy” by handful of activists, students ‘planning’ over whatsapp etc, an “engineered, vicious and visceral communal violence”

Delhi violence
Image Courtesy: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

In the Delhi riots final chargesheet, Delhi Police have attached “disclosures statements, call detail records, money trail and transcripts of WhatsApp groups such as DPSG (Delhi Protests Support Group) and Warriors”, reports the Indian Express. According to the chargesheet, as reported by IE, it is alleged that the violence was being planned since 2019, reportedly, to “uproot the elected government”.

According to the police chargesheet on the riots, and the alleged conspiracy behind the violence, “from the day that the results of the 2019 Parliamentary elections were declared, the tone and tenor of the public utterances of the key conspirators of the present case has shown a clear streak of affinity towards violence which had started playing out in their minds.”

Those are the words that concluded the Delhi Police Special Cell’s 2,695-page “final report”, stated in the IE article. This is a part of the chargesheet the police have filed against 15 people charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in a case of alleged conspiracy that led to the North East Delhi communal riots that took place in February 2020. As has been reported earlier, the 15 accused in the chargesheet include former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal of Pinjra Tod, former Delhi University student Gulfisha Fatima, Jamia Millia Islamia PhD student Meeran Haider, and Jamia Coordination Committee media coordinator Safoora Zarghar, and others.

This final report, states that  while “internationally, terrorist activity is defined as the use of violence to force a government to accept/submit to political demands”, however, it then explains a terrorist act “in the Indian context” under section 15 of the UAPA: “In this case, the use of firearms, petrol bombs… causing death of a police personnel and grievous injuries… with intention to overawe the state and force the central government to withdraw CAA, NRC clearly falls in the definition of terrorist activity”. 

The report has been been signed by DCP (Special Cell) P S Kushwah and ACP (Special Cell) Alok Kumar, and adds, “Causing death of over 50 persons and causing serious injuries to over 500 public persons apart from massive damage to public and private properties by arson and other means would also clearly fall within the definition of terrorist activity… Disruption of supplies and services essential to life of community squarely falls within the ambit of terrorist act”.

According to the IE, this report also claims that a “select group of digital media houses” created a media frenzy. The police have attached “disclosures statements, call detail records, money trail and transcripts of WhatsApp groups such as DPSG (Delhi Protests Support Group) and Warriors” in the chargesheet, adding that the alleged “conspirators’ had “aimed at bringing the government of India to its knees and enforcing the withdrawal of CAA by timing the execution of their conspiracy with the visit of US President, thereby hitting two birds with a single stone”.

The Delhi Police have also attached transcripts of the “chats between Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav, filmmakers Rahul Roy and Saba Dewan, Pinjra Tod’s Kalita and Narwal, CPI’s Annie Raja, Rakshita Swamy of MKSS, activists Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj”, reported IE. The police have put on record its conclusions that “the conspiracy grew in an organic manner from the formation of a group called MSJ (Muslim Students of JNU), an overtly communal seed that was sown after CAB… to the subsequent formation of JCC and finally the emergence of DPSG, which provided a secular facade and naxal genes of violent resistance to an otherwise radically communal agenda”.

The report also mentions that the “conspirators, by their ingenuity and criminality of thoughts, presented an entirely new dimension to the meaning of ‘hate speech’ — theirs was covered in the sugarcoat of nationalism which hit the sour and sordid truth that it was in fact a well-thought out attempt at igniting and reinforcing a pan-Islamic identity.”

This Delhi Police chargesheet comes months after a high level Fact-Finding Committee, appointed by the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) to investigate the communal riots that ravaged neighbourhoods in North-East Delhi in February 2020, had revealed the role of Delhi Police, and local right-wing politicians in instigating the violence. 

The report was released to the public on Thursday, July 16, and was prepared under the supervision of then DMC chairman Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, and members Kartar Singh Kochhar and Anastasia Gill. Legal experts and volunteers collected on-ground data and recorded testimonies of riot victims. The detailed report can be read here, to understand the massive violence that almost razed the densely populated part of Delhi to the ground in what has been said to be the worst communal violence in Delhi, since the anti-Sikh pogrom in 1984. 



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North-East Delhi Riots: Minorities Commission investigations reveal role of Delhi Police, politicians

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