How A BJP Leader’s Name Vanished Between Testimony & Charge Sheet

Delhi Police cited Nisar Ahmed’s testimony in 3 charge sheets. Details are same, but a BJP councillor is left out

Updated05 Jul 2020, 04:53 AM IST
Politics
7 min read

Nisar Ahmed, a garment shop owner from Bhagirathi Vihar E-Block, has emerged as a key witness in the Delhi Police's probe into the Northeast Delhi Riots that took place in the last week of February this year.

Ahmed's testimony has been cited in as many as three charge sheets - related to FIRs 102/2020, 103/2020 and 104/2020 - that deal with three killings that took place in Bhagirathi Vihar during the riots. So far nine people have been arrested in connection with these murders.

However, the curious part is that it appears Ahmed’s testimony has been used selectively.

While most of the details cited by Ahmed in his police complaint have been included verbatim in the charge sheet, one key name has been omitted - that of BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal.

This is not the only complaint accusing Kanhaiya Lal - BJP councillor from Johripur in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation - of being involved in the Delhi Riots. On 22 June, The Quint had reported on another complaint claiming that Kanhaiya Lal led the mob in Bhagirathi Vihar and had allegedly said “ka**on ko, mullo ko nibta do” (get rid of Muslims).

In this story we will share the General Diary entry at Gokulpuri Police Station regarding Nisar Ahmed’s complaint, Ahmed’s testimony as given in the three charge sheets (FIR Numbers 102, 103 and 104) and lay down the differences between the two, especially regarding BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal.

What Nisar Ahmed Wrote in His Complaint

This is an excerpt from the General Diary entry (GD No: 0026A) from Gokulpuri Police Station dated 22 March citing Nisar Ahmed's testimony of what he saw and heard:

On 24.02.2020 at around 4-5 pm, I was at my home when I heard loud noises. So I went up to the roof of my house, from there I saw that near the juice shop near Gokulpuri Bridge Toll Tax, which is 100-150 meters from my house, there 200-250 people had gathered and Vikas Kashyap DJ was setting the sound system and gathering a crowd in support of CAA.

He was chanting slogans like 'Jai Shri Ram', 'Hindu Ekta Zindabad' and 'Jaago Hindu Jaago'. Some of the people present there who I could identify were Vikas Kashyap DJ, Golu Bike Wala, Gaurav Dabra, Mukesh Master Ji and Kanhaiya Lal. Many other people I know by face and can identify if brought in front of me.

BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal paying tribute to Syama Prasad Mookerjee
BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal paying tribute to Syama Prasad Mookerjee
Kanhaiya Lal Twitter 

There Kanhaiya Lal was giving a provocative speech in the sound system set up by Vikas DJ. He was saying:

Aao Hindu sab ghar se nikalo, CAA ka samarthan karo aur inn Ka**on ko Bhagirathi Vihar colony se baahar nikalo, ka**on ko maaro, inke gharo par qabza karo aur inke maal ko loot lo
BJP Councillor Kanhaiya Lal (as alleged by witness Nisar Ahmed)

(Come Hindus, come out of your homes in support of CAA and chase these Muslims out of Bhagirathi Vihar colony, kill the Muslims, capture their houses, loot their money)

He also chanted other such instigating slogans such as Come out Hindus, police is with you.

I got terrified because of the slogans and speeches and I came down to my room and at around 6 pm I dialed 100 from my mobile and informed that for the past three hours people have gathered at the juice corner near the toll tax and are trying to spread communal tensions.

I called 100 number more than five times and they kept saying that they are sending police but no police personnel came.

Kanhaiya Lal (right) with former Delhi BJP chief and NE Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari.
Kanhaiya Lal (right) with former Delhi BJP chief and NE Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari.
(Photo: Kanhaiya Lal’s Facebook Profile)

The complaint goes on to narrate that the slogans continued till night on 24 February and the next day, there was violence in the area. Ahmed alleges that “Michael, Mogli and Tinku were leading the mob and he accuses them and a mob of around 50 people of looting his godown and burning his vehicles.

Nisar Ahmed’s Testimony As Given in 3 Charge Sheets

Three of the charge sheets dealing with the violence in Bhagirathi Vihar have extensively cited Nisar Ahmed’s testimony. These are the ones for FIRs 102/2020, 103/2020 and 104/2020 that deal with the murders of Hamza, Aamin and Bhure Ali alias Salman respectively.

The testimony has been cited almost identically in all three. Here’s an excerpt from the charge sheets:

“During the course of investigation, Nisar Ahmad S/o Sh.Deen Mohammad R/o E***, Bhagirathi Vihar, Delhi-110094 was examined who stated that he is residing along with family at the above address and he is running a garment shop at the same address.

On 24.02.2020 at about 4-5PM he was in the house and he heard loud noises and thereby he went to the roof and saw that at Nala Tiraha, Johripur about 200-250 people had assembled and these people were raising slogans such as Jai Shri Ram, Hindu Ekta Zindabad, Jaago Hindu Jaago in favour of CAA through loud speakers.

He knows some of these persons namely 1. Pankaj Sharma R/o Bhagirathi Vihar, Delhi 2. Prince R/o Johripur, Delhi 3. Ankit R/o Ganga Vihar, Delhi 4. Sumit Choudhary R/o Gokalpuri, Delhi 5. Lokesh R/o Ganga Vihar, Delhi 6. Himanshu R/o Johripur, Delhi 7. Jatin R/o Ganga Vihar, Delhi 8. Vivek R/o Ganga Vihar, Delhi 9. Rishab R/o Ganga Vihar, Delhi 10. Sahil @ Babu R/o Bhagirathi Vihar, Delhi 11. Monti Nagar 12. Avdesh Mishra @ Sardar 13. Monu 14. Shekher 15. Mogli 16. Vinay @ Binni 17. Tinku 18. Baba. were part of the Hindu mob.

All of them were carrying iron roads, sticks, Lathi, Danda and were insisting the Hindu community peoples to assemble and kicked out the muslim community people from Bhagirathi Vihar, Delhi.

“On the night of 25 February, outsiders entered the area and targeted houses where Muslims lived,” said Ajay, a resident of Bhagirathi Vihar.
“On the night of 25 February, outsiders entered the area and targeted houses where Muslims lived,” said Ajay, a resident of Bhagirathi Vihar.
(Photo: The Quint)

He further stated the mob were also raising slogans such as Maaro (Kill) and to occupy the houses of muslims and rob them. On hearing loud noises he got frightened and came down in his room. He further stated that due to fear he made a number of PCR Calls but no one came to help him and on the same day in the evening the riot started.

Like the complaint, Ahmed’s testimony in the charge sheet also alleges that Mogli, Michael and Tinku led the mob near his home on the morning of 25 February and were involved in the looting of his belongings.

How BJP’s Kanhaiya Lal is Missing in Charge Sheets

The details given in the GD entry on Ahmed's complaint and the version stated in the three charge sheets are more or less similar in all details except the following:

  • The name of Kanhaiya Lal, which is mentioned in the GD entry, is missing from all three charge sheets. The charge sheets mention slogans like “Maar do”, “occupy Muslim houses” and “rob them”. But they fail to mention that according to Ahmed, Kanhaiya Lal was shouting these instructions.
  • The names of Pankaj Sharma, Prince, Ankit, Sumit Choudhary, Lokesh, Himanshu, Jatin, Vivek, Rishab, Sahil, Avdesh Mishra, Shekher and Baba are are not there in the GD entry but figure in the charge sheet. Nine of them are now under arrest under these cases. According to the charge sheets, they were part of the Kattar Hindut Ekta WhatsApp group where the killings were allegedly planned.
  • Among those who allegedly looted Ahmed's home, the names of Michael, Mogli and Tinku are part of both the GD entry and charge sheets. An additional name - Sonu - is there in the charge sheet.

Nisar Ahmed's lawyer Advocate MR Shamshad said that the additions are because his client identified them after being shown parts of the CCTV footage by the police.

But on the omission of Kanhaiya Lal in the charge sheet, Shamshad points out that the police appears to be blaming a common set of accused for all the violence in the area, ignoring others like Kanhaiya Lal.

The police has filed three separate charge sheets against a common set of accused ignoring the accused named in Nisar’s complaint. This way of dealing with complaints raises direct question of investigation process
Advocate MR Shamshad, Nisar Ahmed’s lawyer

FIR Into Nisar Ahmed's Complaint

The status of Nisar Ahmed's police complaint is another story. According to the GD Entry from 22 March, the police initially refused to file Ahmed's complaint unless he removed specific names.

"I went to the police station several times to file a complaint but they refused to accept my detailed complaint. They told me to file a small complaint without names, or else they would book me under false cases and put me in jail,” he alleges in the complaint.

"You should be grateful that you are alive," said the police, claims Ahmed.

Nisar Ahmed had to approach the High Court to file an FIR. In the hearing last week, the police said that Ahmed's complaint had been attached to an unrelated case of loss of property filed by one Aas Mohammad, a resident of A-Block Bhagirathi Vihar.

It was only after the intervention of the High Court that Ahmed was able to get access to the three charge sheets in which his testimony has been cited.

In his writ petition in the High Court, Ahmed accused Kanhaiya Lal of "spreading misinformation" that names of the accused have been added because of him. According to Ahmed, this has caused a great deal of pressure and harassment from people connected to the accused.

The Quint reached out to Kanhaiya Lal regarding the allegations against him and to Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa and DCP (Northeast) Ved Prakash Surya on why Kanhaiya Lal’s name is not there in the charge sheet, but there has been no response from any of them. We will update this copy if they respond.

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Published: 05 Jul 2020, 03:49 AM IST
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