Delhi Police has named CPI-M General secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan President Yogendra Yadav, Delhi University professor and activist Apoorvanand, economist Jayati Ghosh, and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy in a supplementary chargesheet in the on-going probe of Northeast Delhi riots that took place in February.
In the original chargesheet filed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in Karkardooma court, Pinjra Tod members Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal and Jamia Millia Islamia’s Gulfisha Fathima were named in connection with the violence at Jafrabad where anti-CAA protests were held before the riots began.
They are currently facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The members named in the supplementary chargesheet are on the basis of ‘disclosure statement’ by Gulfisha Fatima in regards the January 15 Seelampur demonstration and she said that they took part in the anti CAA demonstrations to ‘provoke and mobilise’ crowds.
In her statement, she said, “The crowd had started growing according to the plan, big leaders and lawyers started coming in to provoke and mobilise this crowd, including Omar Khalid, Chander Shekhar Ravan, Yogendra Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, and lawyer Mahmood Pracha.”
She further added, “Pracha said that sitting in the demonstration is your democratic right and the rest of the leaders fuelled the feeling of discontent in the community by calling CAA and NRC anti-Muslim.”
In the ‘disclosure statement’ of Pinjra Tod members Kalita and Narwal, which are almost identical, in which they have named professor Apoorvamand and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy allegedly ‘explained’ to them that “we have to protest against CAA/NRC for which we can go to any extreme”.
The disclosure statement said, “In the month of December after passing CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) Jaidi Ghosh, Professor Apurva Nand, Rahul Roy had explained that we have to protest against CAA/ NRC for which we can go any extreme due to which we can through the Govt and Umar Khalid had also given some tips for doing protest against CAA/NRC. On the directions of these persons, Umar Khalid’s United Against Hate Group and JCC (Jamia Coordination Committee) & members of our Pinjda Tod together started a protest in different parts of Delhi.”
Reacting to this chargesheet, Sitaram Yechury slammed the central government and Delhi Police and said, ”Delhi Police is under the Centre and Home Ministry. Its illegitimate, illegal actions are a direct outcome of the politics of BJP’s top leadership. They are scared of legitimate peaceful protests by mainstream political parties and are misusing state power to target the opposition.”
The North East Delhi riots was a communal clash that broke out between CAA/NRC supporters and protesters on February 24 left at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.