Delhi riots: Protected witnesses allege main accused gave provocative speeches, says police in charge sheet

The charge sheet said that the protected witnesses have alleged that provocative speeches were delivered at various sites against the CAA and the government

Modi appeals for calm Delhi riots
Modi appeals for calm Delhi riots


Protected witnesses have alleged that former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, activist Khalid Saifi and others gave provocative speeches against top BJP leaders and 'Hindutva' during their protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), police have said in its charge sheet.

The charge sheet said that the protected witnesses have alleged that provocative speeches were delivered at various sites against the CAA and the government.

"Through their speeches, they attempted to provoke the crowd gathered there against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and 'Hindutva'. Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi and others said in their speeches 'freedom from Hindus', 'freedom from Modi and Amit Shah' and said that this government was for Hindus and against Muslims," the charge sheet quoted one of the protected witnesses as alleging in his statement.

The charge sheet filed in a court here on September 16 stated that the statements of various protected witnesses recorded under section 161 (examination by police) of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the case have revealed that the speakers not only gave speeches against CAA, but also against the government and the country.

One of the protected witnesses stated in his statement that Jahan, Saifi and other local leaders had started the protests in Khureji Khas area.

During the ongoing protests, some students of Jamia Millia Islamia rented rooms in the nearby areas to stay there, the witness said.

The witness further alleged that on February 26, while they were giving provocative speeches police asked them to stop.

"Following this Jahan and Saifi started fighting with the police. Along with the crowd, they started pelting stones on the police," the witness alleged.

The witness further alleged that when he heard gunshots, he went inside an ashram and got to know later that the police had taken Jahan, Saifi and other people to the police station.

Another protected witness stated in his statement that during US President Trump's visit to India in February, riots were instigated at several places in north east Delhi by members of Pinjra Tod, left wing student organisation All India Students' Association, Students Islamic Organisation, Popular Front of India (PFI), former JNU student Umar Khalid and his group United Against Hate under the leadership of Jamia Coordination Committee.

One other protected witness alleged in his statement that Pinjra Tod members and JNU students Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal gathered women and men and reached Jaffrabad metro station and blocked the roads, due to which 'Chakka Jaam' was created in Delhi which led to the clashes starting between Hindu and Muslim communities.

Popular Front of India (PFI), formed in 2006 in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front (NDF), provided financial support to the protests, police alleged in the charge sheet.

Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) was founded in 2015 with an aim to make hostels and paying guest accommodations less restrictive for women students.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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Published: 23 Sep 2020, 11:31 AM