The Delhi Police filed two charge sheets regarding the communal violence that took place in Northeast Delhi in February this year. The two separate charge sheets have been filed in connection with the violence at Jafrabad and Chandbagh areas respectively.
According to a note issued by the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch, “Three SITs have been constituted in the Crime Branch to investigate important cases registered during the riots in North East District, Delhi. These cases (total 59 in number), include all murders and some important incidents of riots that had occurred in February this year. After investigation, charge sheets are being filed in Court, in the following two important cases, today”.
These are the Jafrabad riot case, that is FIR number 50 and the Tahir Hussain case, that is FIR number 101.
The details of the Tahir Hussain charge sheet can be found here.
So far both the charge sheets are on cases that involve Muslims or other anti- Citizenship Amendment Act protesters.
The Delhi Police faced flak from the Patiala House Court last week for having a probe “directed towards only one end”.
Jafrabad Case Charge Sheet
The charge sheet in the Jafrabad case accuses Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita of women’s student group Pinjra Tod of being “actively involved in hatching the conspiracy to cause riots near Jafrabad Metro Station, Delhi”.
“They were also part of a larger conspiracy and were found to be connected to the ‘India Against Hate’ group and Umar Khalid,” the police said in its release.
‘India Against Hate’ mentioned by the police, is presumably United Against Hate, of which Khalid is a founding member.
As part of the evidence, the police has cited a WhatsApp message which it claims to have found in the phone of one of the accused. The message seems to be giving locals tips on how to defend themselves in the eventuality of an attack.
The message cited by the police says:
“Dange ke halat me Ghar ki Auratein Kya kren:
- 1. Ghar me garam khaulta hua pani or tel/oil ka intezam kare.
- 2. Building ki seedhiyo pr tel/shampoo/surf dalde.
- 3. Lal mirch pani garam me/ya powder ka istemal kre.
- 4. Darwazo ko mazboot kare, jald se jald Grill/Iron wala gate Lagwae.
- 5. Tezab ki bolte ghar me rkhe.
- 6. Balcony/terrace par eit or Pathhar rakhe.
- 7. Car/bikes se petrol nikal kar rkhe.
- 8. Lohe k darwazo me switch se current ka istemal kre.
- 9. Ek building se doosri building me jane k liye raste ka intezam kre.
- 10. Building ke sare mard hazrat ek Saath building na chhoden, kuchh log female safety ke liye ruken.”
"This message reveals the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for causing riots in Delhi,” the police has alleged.
Response from United Against Hate and Pinjra Tod
United Against Hate has called the charge sheet as part of a “biased” investigation by the Delhi Police.
“We need to read the charge sheet first. But the overall investigation right from the beginning is partisan and biased. It is targeting anti-CAA activists and students while keeping criminally silent on actual hate mongers and rioters, whose hate speech and instigating speeches are on record,” Tamanna Pankaj, UAH’s legal advisor, told The Quint.
“Even the court has highlighted the biased investigation already in Asif Iqbal Tanha’s case,” Pankaj added, referring to the Patiala House Court’s observations last week.
Tusharika Mattoo, the lawyer for Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, however, declined to comment on the charge sheet.
“We cannot comment on the matter as it is sub-judice,” she said.
The police has invoked Sections 149, 186, 353, 332, 333, 323, 283, 188, 427, 307, 302, 120b and 34 of the Indian Penal Code along with the Arms Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act in the charge sheet.
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