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Delhi riots aimed to create fear in minds of Muslims, says Police

New Delhi: The North East Delhi riots were the results of a larger conspiracy and the idea was to create a sense of fear in the minds of Muslims and paralyse the city. It was to be done through mobilisation in the name of Babri Masjid, Triple Talaq, suppression of Muslims, CAA-NRC and the Kashmir issue. These were the main arguments advanced on Monday by the special public prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad for the Delhi police.

The division bench of justices Sidharth Mridul and Rajanish Bhatnagar adjourned the further arguments of prosecution till Tuesday.

The bench observed that there are overlapping allegations regarding every accused in the charge sheet.

The senior Counsel for Umar Khalid submitted that there are overlapping of allegations, not the roles attributed to the accused persons.

He also said that there is no attribution that Umar Khalid was present at the site of the violence. There are only inferences against him.

“We understand what you are saying but in conspiracy, presence is not required”, Justice Siddharth Mridul said.

At the outset of the arguments, Amit Prasad said the riots were in two phases. The first one was is connected with the violence of December 2019 and the second phase was of February 2020 riots.

He argued that the first phase was the failed attempt. Therefore in the second phase there planning of large-scale mobilisation through WhatsApp chats in the WhatsApp groups created by the accused persons after the cabinet nod over CAB in parliament on December 4, 2019.

Amit Prasad further argued that WhatsApp groups like UAH, DPSG, MSJ and others were created. The DPSG group was created by Rahul Roy. Umar Khalid and the other accused were part of the group.

Justice Siddharth Mridul raised a query, Is Rahul Roy been made accused? SPP replied that many other accused have been made accused in the charge sheet.

The SPP argued that most of the accused persons were connected through WhatsApp groups which were being used for mobilisation and for calls the protest and chakka jaam.

He argued that the mobilisation was based on 5 factors namely the issue of Babri Masjid, the Suppression of Muslims, the issue of Triple Talaq, the Kashmir issue and CAA-NRC.

He referred to a chat between Sharjeel Imam and other accused that This law (CAA-NRC) is against Muslims. We have seen the approach of the Supreme Court in the matter of Babri masjid and Triple Talaq. There is no other option than the mass level protest. So that this matter may invite the attention of international media.

He also referred to a chat where a call for protest on December 6, 2019, was made to protest against the demolition of Babri masjid. He said the idea was to create fear in the minds of the Muslims.

He referred one the WhatsApp message which reads that 6 December is the martyrdom day of Babri Masjid.

He also argued that the idea was to create fear and paralyse the city by mobilising the people on these factors.

The issues of Babri masjid and triple talaq were related to religion but the issue of Kashmir was integrity. It shows that the grievance was not the CAA-NRC, the grievance was other issues, argued SPP Amit Prasad.

It was argued that people were mobilised through Whatsapp groups. As a result of this large-scale violence took place in phases one and two which include using of petrol bombs, firing, stone pelting, burning of vehicles, damage to private and public properties and assault on police personnel.

Round-the-clock protest sites were created which were managed, supervised and controlled by the accused persons including Umar Khalid and others through WhatsApp groups, SPP argued.

It was also argued that these protests were not organised nor supported by locals. These were organised with the help of outsiders. The idea was to paralyse the entire area of northeast Delhi by blocking two major roads namely Wazirabad Road and Seelampur road with a disruptive chakka jam. Sharjeel had talked of disruptive chakka jaam, Delhi police alleged.

The senior advocate appearing for Umar Khalid on Thursday had concluded his arguments on the bail plea. He submitted that no case of conspiracy is made out against his client and there are major contradictions in the statement of witnesses.

It was also argued that Sharjeel Imam was connected and known to each other. Sharjeel was introduced to Yogendra Yadav by Umar Khalid at a protest at Jantar Mantar in January 2020.

The said objectionable speech was allegedly given by Umar in Amaravati on February 17, 2020. He was booked under UAPA by Delhi Police and was arrested on 13 September 2020.

Earlier the bench had called the speech offensive and obnoxious. He said that the speech was hateful and not acceptable.

Umar Khalid has challenged the trial court order denying him bail in the larger conspiracy of North East Delhi riots of February 2020.

Senior Advocate Tridip Pais had argued that there is no material, no basis for allegations in the charge sheet. It is based on hearsay.

He had argued, by referring to the picture taken from Facebook, that this is one picture and there are many others. Anyone who wants to hatch a conspiracy would upload the photographs in Facebook.

During during argument on May 23, 2022, he argued that Sharjeel Imam had criticized a secular movement against CAA and Khalid does not agree with it.

Pais had said I am (Umar Khalid) being lumped with a person who calls for a deeply communal protest against CAA. There is no ideological meeting of minds.

This case pertains to the larger conspiracy of the North East Delhi riots of February 2020. In these riots, 53 people died and hundreds were injured.