Delhi Riots: Charge Sheet Filed Against 15, WhatsApp Groups Cited

All 15 accused named in the charge sheet have been connected to the anti-CAA protests, reports said.

2 min read
The riot-affected northeast Delhi on 26 February. Image for representational purposes.

The Delhi Police Special Cell on Wednesday, 16 September, filed a charge sheet against 15 accused in connection with the Delhi riots case under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), IPC and the Arms Act, reported news agency ANI.

The charge sheet was filed at the Karkardooma court and runs into more than 17,000 pages.

All 15 accused named in the charge sheet have been connected to the anti-CAA protests, including suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain and student activists, reported NDTV. No one from the pro-CAA camp has been named.

What Does the Police Say?

“The evidence includes WhatsApp chats of 24 February, the time when the riots were taking place. The key conspirators were guiding foot soldiers. Twenty-five WhatsApp groups were specially created for each site. The police identified each group and its role,” the police stated in court.

"Conspirators planned the riots while a middle ring of leaders at the area level executed the plan through foot soldiers," it was further quoted as saying.

“Special Cell identified a ‘Delhi Protest Special Group’ on WhatsApp. An accused made a clear reference to roadblocking and inciting violence. Confrontation with law enforcement agency (was) mentioned by a key conspirator. Top conspirators created the groups.” 
Delhi Police official, as quoted by ANI

According to ANI, the charge sheet does not include the names of Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam as accused. The two will reportedly be named in the supplementary charge sheet.

Amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC, riots broke out in northeast Delhi in February, leading to the death of more than 50 people.

Questions have also been raised about the role of the Delhi Police during the violence, as well as its probe into it later, with many alleging the force of inaction and bias.

(With inputs from ANI and NDTV.)

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