Stop coercing ‘confessional’ statements to manufacture evidence in Delhi Violence cases!

Eminent citizens raise objections to riots’ probe, ask Delhi Police to stop falsely implicating people, and wrongly invoking UAPA to fuel theories of anti-state ‘conspiracy’

Delhi violence

Voices are rising loud and clear to raise awareness about the major concerns that have come to light about the Delhi Police’s ongoing probe into the February 2020 communal violence. Over a thousand eminent citizens from across the country,  have issued an urgent statement, “strongly objecting to the manner in which Delhi Police has been conducting the probe into the riots cases, and calling on them to restore the public’s faith in the investigation.”

These include leading names from all walks of life including, filmmaker Aparna Sen; former Culture Secretary Jawahar Sircar; historian Ramchandra Guha; former Chairperson, Delhi Minority Commission Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan; Former Governor, Margaret Alva; Academics –  Zoya Hasan, Partha Chatterjee, Jayati Ghosh, Poonam Batra, Nivedita Menon, Sucharita Sen; former senior civil servants – Wajahat Habibullah, Madhu Bhaduri, Deb Mukherjee, Amitabha Pande, Sundar Burra, Aditi Mehta; feminists and trans-rights activists – Meera Sanghamitra, Vani Subramanian, Chayanika Shah, Hasina Khan; Journalists – Vidya Subrahmaniam, Geeta Seshu, Manoj Mitta, Anjali Mody, Antara Dev Sen, Priyanka Borpujari; political leaders, Brinda Karat, Annie Raja, Kavita Krishnan; Artists Kiran Sehgal, Shuddabrata Sengupta & Writer Aruna Vasudev; Social activists – Magsasay Awardees Aruna Roy and Sandeep Pandey; Democratic rights activists Jagdeep Chhokar, Henri Tiphagne, Teesta Setalvad, John Dayal, Lara Jesani; Former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ramdas; Scientist, Amitabha Basu, along with scores of others 

The group is representative of thousands more who are “citing strong evidence of coerced ‘confessional’ statements and manufactured evidence, the signatories have sought assurances from the Delhi Police Commissionerate that these practices will be stopped, and have urged them to conduct a fair and impartial investigation to book the real culprits of the riots.”

They have asked investigators to “stop coercing ‘confessional’ statements to manufacture evidence; stop falsely implicating people, including Umar Khalid; stop wrongly invoking UAPA to give the colour of conspiracy against the state.”

They state that they were “alarmed by the news that on Sept 1, 2020, Umar Khalid sent a letter to the Delhi Police Commissioner, Shri SN Shrivastava, with shocking evidence of the Delhi Police manufacturing evidence against him, through extorted statements. The letter reveals that a young man was interrogated by the Delhi Police (Special Cell) and a false confession against Umar Khalid, related to Delhi riots, was extracted and videotaped. The young man was threatened that he would be arrested under UAPA if he refused. He submitted to the coercion for he was scared, and yet his conscience allowed him to speak up about what had transpired.”

In the ongoing investigations into the Northeast Delhi riots, scores of students, professors, writers and activists have been questioned already. The Crime Branch recently questioned activist Umar Khalid for the second time in two months.  

The statement expresses concern on the issue, “we are gravely concerned that Dr. Umar Khalid, a young scholar, already vilified and targeted relentlessly by a section of the media, is now being implicated in riots cases on the basis of manufactured evidence. Umar Khalid is not above the law, and must support any police investigation. But when the process of law is sought to be short circuited and undermined, then any citizen’s liberty is gravely threatened. Other people have earlier reported being coerced during police interrogation in Delhi riots cases.” 

They cite reports by independent media house Scroll, which revealed that “In the Ankit Sharma charge-sheet (FIR 65/20), Dayalpur Police station, presented by the Delhi Police, there were 4 identical ‘confessional’ statements. There were 7 identical statements in the Ratan Lal (FIR 60/20), Dayalpur police station, charge-sheet. And there were 10 identical statements in the Jaffrabad police station, (FIR 50/20) charge-sheet.” 

An Indian Express report stated that “a fourth charge-sheet of the Dilbar Negi case (FIR number 39/20) Thana, Gokulpuri, the Indian Express found that 9 out of 12 confessional statements were near verbatim copies of each other.”

“This pattern of coerced statements and false evidence is alarming. We ask the Delhi Police to confront this evidence of fabrication and coercion, uphold the sanctity of law and procedures, and conduct a fair and just investigation. So that the real culprits of the terrible violence that caused 53 deaths, injured hundreds and damaged property of thousands, are arrested,” stated the concerned citizens. 

“We, as citizens of this country, bring on record our objections to the manner in which the North East Delhi Riot cases are being investigated, what this means for the rule of law, the protection of the civil liberties and booking of the real culprits. It is important that the faith of the public be restored in the police. The investigation of the North East Delhi riots has undermined this faith as it is being undertaken in a prejudicial manner, targeting the anti-CAA protestors and supporters, alleging a conspiracy,” they added. 

They have sought an “urgent assurance from the Delhi Police Commissionerate, that practices like extorting ‘confessions’ to manufacture evidence will be immediately ended; that those who indulge in them will be held accountable; and that no action will be taken against Umar Khalid or anyone else on the basis of these so called confessions and fabricated evidence.  Even these coerced confessional statements do not make for UAPA offences, and invoking this law appears to be done without application of mind, to give acts the colour of a conspiracy against the state.”

They ask that the police “drop the application of UAPA in all these cases.” 



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Mere mention of Shaheen Bagh whets political appetites again

Is Delhi Police hiding key information, documents of riot cases?

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

Hate Speech by BJP’s Top Brass fuelled Build Up to Delhi Violence: Minorities 




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