While opposing the bail plea of former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad told a court on Monday, 31 January, that the accused planned and executed violence, while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra was not even in the picture.
Prasad told the court that Mishra’s speech had not surfaced when the accused were discussing how to “incite violence” in their WhatsApp conversations.
Presenting his argument in front of Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, the prosecution further argued that Mishra’s name was used by the accused to “build a narrative.”
Former JNU student Khalid and several others have been booked under draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and are accused of being the masterminds behind the large-scale violence that broke out in Northeast Delhi in February 2020.
‘February 2020 Used To Execute Conspiracy’: Police
Prasad argued, “There was a proposal to incite violence on 17 February 2020, which is the time when you [accused] drew a narrative that Kapil Mishra came there [north-east Delhi]... Where was Kapil Mishra then? He had not even surfaced anywhere and your proposal to incite violence had surfaced... there was your [accused’s] proposal to block roads and incite violence,” The Hindu reported.
Speaking of the riots in phases, the prosecution stated how the “first phase of riots during late 2019 and January 2020 was a failure” and how the second phase, in February 2020, “was used to execute the conspiracy.”
He added that there was a common pattern between First Information Reports (FIRs) lodged in December 2019 and those lodged in 2020, where the sole intention was to “attack police personnel and cause destruction to public property.”
Further, referring to the charge sheet, the SPP argued, “People involved in both the phases were common... meetings which happened, Umar Khalid was sitting there with Sharjeel Imam. Presence of Sharjeel Imam was admitted in his own speech, Umar Khalid’s presence was there in the picture,” LiveLaw reported.
He further argued that the Jamia Awareness Campaign Team was constituted to create awareness about the protest sites and mobilise people for the conspiracy.
Prasad also told the court that several groups such as Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) and Delhi Protest Support Group (DPSG) were formed on WhatsApp where the accused persons were coordinating information about the protest sites.
Prasad told the court, “There is incitement to violence and silence. I will show from the record why this is a conspiracy of silence. It is my contention which I will make good by their conduct.”Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad, as quoted by The Indian Express.
The prosecution will continue its argument in the next hearing on Wednesday.
(With inputs from The Hindu, The Indian Express, and LiveLaw.)