Kapil Mishra remains invisible and unnamed in Delhi Police charge sheet

“We will remain peaceful till Trump leaves. After that we will not listen to you,” Kapil Mishra had told Delhi Police official in February 2020

Delhi RiotsImage Courtesy:change.org

The charge sheet investigating the killing of Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal, during the anti-minority violence that raged for days in the densely populated North East of Delhi since February 23, has a list of names under its scanner. However, the omission of politician Kapil Mishra’s name has reignited the debate over the riots, and the investigations that have followed. 

On February 23, Mishra led a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally at Maujpur, close to the site of the anti-CAA protest near the Jafrabad metro station. At his rally Mishra, standing next to a uniformed police officer had said, “We will remain peaceful till Trump leaves. After that we will not listen to you.”

In what sounded like an ultimatum to the Delhi Police, Mishra had addressed his supporters and said, “DCP sahab is standing nearby, I am saying this… till Trump leaves we will go from here peacefully, after that we will not even listen to you… if the roads are not cleared. By the time Trump leaves we request you to clear Jafrabad and Chand Bagh. After that we will have to come onto the roads.” His words drew loud cheers from the crowds even as the senior policeman wearing protective gear over his uniform, stood quietly right next to him. 

Massive violence had broken out hours after he said these words, and raged on for days across North East Delhi, with the aftermath still being felt. The video clip of this speech had gone viral and remains easily accessible even now.

Kapil Mishra, who now describes himself on Twitter as a “New Delhi based Hindu, Nationalist Politician”, is not named as an accused or even a co conspirator in the riots that broke out hours after he said these words. 

However, it has been reported that an eyewitness account, recorded in the chargesheet states that the “policeman’s killing was the result of a mob attack after a crowd at Chand Bagh heard about BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s supporters setting fire to the site of an anti-CAA protest.” Policeman Ratan Lal, succumbed to his injuries after an attack by a mob at Gokulpuri, near Chand Bagh. 

“Links of the organisers of the (Chand Bagh) protest site with the likes of DS Bindra (AIMIM), Kawalpreet Kaur (AISA), Devangana Kalita (Pinjra Tod), Safoora, Yogendra Yadav indicate a hidden agenda behind the violence,” Delhi Police has reportedly said. All of the anti-CAA activists named, many of them scholars of prominent universities, have at various times been questioned, arrested and charged under the most serious sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the UAPA. The case of activist Safoora Zargar, who was recently granted bail, has been a matter of global discussion.

While the right-wing politician’s speech does not seem to have been taken into account, the chargesheet has named activist Yogendra Yadav. According to a report by NDTV, Yadav though not an accused, has been called a co-conspirator, as he was a speaker at a protest at Chand Bagh in North-East Delhi. “Police chargesheet is there, but there is no charge. I’m not an accused. They haven’t said anything against me, except one thing – that I used to come and go and give speeches. It wasn’t a secret. Every speech that I gave is in public domain,” Yadav said in a video statement.

Advocate DS Bindra, told SabrangIndia that he had nothing to do with Chand Bagh protest and he was just involved in serving food to those gathered at Shaheen Bagh, as a part of his langar. He too has been issued a notice by Delhi Police. Bindra asked, “Is serving langar a crime now?” He too is not named in any FIR.

The Indian Express reports that the witness — identified as Najam ul Hasan — was present at the protest but “did not see” the alleged incident on February 24, has claimed that he had heard people at an anti-CAA protest site shout that a pandal had been “set on fire by some of (BJP leader) Kapil Mishra’s people”.

Hasan, reports IE,  has been listed in the chargesheet among “important witnesses” who were “fully aware about the conspiracy and planning” of the protests at Chand Bagh. There are 164 witnesses, including 76 police personnel and seven local residents listed in the chargesheet. As IE reports, Hasan’s statement is crucial as it was “recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC, which is evidence admissible during the criminal trial. It says: “…pandal mein Kapil Mishra ke kuch logon ne aag laga di. Maine yeh dekha nahin, par log aisa shor macha rahe the (The stage was set on fire by some of Kapil Mishra’s people. I did not see it happening, but people were shouting about it).”

In the wake of the gruesome Delhi violence, the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had initiated an Online Petition appealing to the Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, to hold Kapil Mishra – said to be the chief instigator – accountable for instigating violence using hate speech and prosecute him

Kapil Mishra has been a serial hate speech offender, with each threat becoming more blatant by the day. It is imperative that he be held accountable for his words and actions and prosecuted under the relevant sections of the law. The CJP has appealed to the citizens of India to support this Online Initiative for Accountability in Public Life and sign up against the politics of hatred and violence. 

You may sign the petition here.


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