Was in Jafrabad Asking Them to Withdraw Blockade: Yogendra Yadav
“Why doesn’t Delhi Police quote at least one line from my speeches that incited or condoned violence?” Yadav asks.
Swaraj Abhiyan national president Yogendra Yadav’s name has surfaced in a few charge sheets filed by the Delhi Police probing the violence, the latest being the one under FIR 50 which investigates the February violence at northeast Delhi’s Jafrabad and Maujpur areas. While his name is mentioned, he is not an accused in the case.
In the FIR 50 supplementary charge sheet, a disclosure statement made by UAPA accused Gulfisha Fatima reads, “The crowd had started growing and according to the plan, big leaders and lawyers started coming in to provoke and mobilise this crowd.”
It goes on to say how several lawyers and activists, including Yogendra Yadav, “filled the feeling of discontent in the community by calling CAA/NRC anti-Muslim”.
Senior lawyers who practice criminal law told The Quint that disclosure statements are recorded under Section 25 of the Evidence Act and are inadmissible in court. They also said that the police cannot take signed statements by anyone.
The only exception is where the disclosure leads to recovery of evidence during the trial, for example a murder weapon. However, even then, it is only those specific statements that lead to discovery of evidence that would be treated as admissible and not the entire statement.
Coming back to Gulfisha’s disclosure statement, lawyer Mehmood Pracha told The Quint that these statements were baseless, “They have been recorded with an agenda of the police and the government. The police writes these stories themselves and gets the accused to sign on it. This disclosure statement is entirely false and baseless.”
Yadav’s name across charge sheets has come in the context of him giving speeches at various places that either ‘provoked’ or ‘mobilised’ people or ‘spread lies about CAA and the government’.
Yadav said, “All my speeches are available on my Facebook page, including where I'm on the ground asking protesters to withdraw the blockade. Why doesn't Delhi Police quote at least one line from any of my speeches that incited or even condoned violence?”
On his Facebook page, The Quint found a video from 24 February, made by Yogendra Yadav to the protesters at the Seelampur protest site, when riots had begun in the city.
05:20 onwards, Yadav says, “I have come to request you, with me is Apoorvanand as well, there were 8-10 more who also came but have moved ahead. We came to speak to our sisters who are sitting close to the Jafrabad metro station and blocking the road right now.”
Then he says that the strength of a protest is to not lose consciousness (hosh) in the desire to be passionate (josh). Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, who has also been named in various charge sheets, including FIR 50, was by Yadav’s side and gave a speech himself as well.
“Who is benefiting in continuing the blockade? Only those who want to make this a Hindu-Muslim issue,” he said adding this could become a way to discredit the protest. “We have to ensure we do not do anything, intentionally or unintentionally. to give people a reason to raise a finger at us. We went to speak them, but it was not feasible at all. We spoke to one person who said talk to another, then another, then another.”
“Through all of you, as you have sisters sitting there, I fold my hands and request you, that if you think we are your friends even for a minute then please go to your friends, family and sisters there and appeal to them,” he had said
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