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Contents

1Preface

2Introduction to the main report Synopsis and Fact-finding objectives

3Case Studies

4Supporting documents

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Introduction

This report originated in our observations about the recent national and international discourse related to the arrests of people involved the Delhi Riots 2020. It is being said that the State and its law enforcement agencies are engaging in a witch hunt by arresting Students and Activists in the cases related to the Delhi Riots 2020. Further the impression is being carried that only Muslims are being arrested and victimized under provisions of law in cases related to the Delhi Riots 2020. Additionally there is narrative that women are being harassed in cases related to the Delhi Riots 2020.

It may be recalled that North-East Delhi was engulfed in violent communal clashes that took place between 23-26 February 2020. Most marginalized communities including Scheduled Castes and nomads lost lives amongst others and property worth corers was destroyed. Amongst the dead and brutalized were a large number of Muslims too. Our field report submitted to the Government of India on 11 March 2020 indicated that the riots were a result of a deliberate strategy by Urban Naxals-Jihadis to create communal violence over the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

In response to the latest discourse that law enforcement is harassing students and activists in the Delhi Riots cases a fact finding team from the Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) has examined information available in the public domain to uncover facts in cases related to the Delhi Riots 2020. The following pages contain our report.

Synopsis

Fact-finding objectives

1.To examine the data related to Delhi Riots that is in the public domain

The questions that we have examined are as follows.

1.How many arrests and cases have been made relating to the Delhi Riots 2020?

2.How many of those arrested in the Delhi Riots are students and Activists?

3.How many of those arrested in the Delhi Riots cases are women?

4.What are the charges against those who have been arrested in the Delhi Riots 2020?

5.Which are the organizations that played a key role in the Delhi Riots 2020?

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The following section describes each question in detail and establishes facts related to each question based on sources available in the public domain:

How many arrests and cases are there relating to the Delhi Riots 2020?

1300 persons have been arrested in 750 cases concerning the recent communal violence in north- east Delhi. This is the statement given out by the Delhi Police PRO M S Randhawa on May 21 2020.This is the latest statement by the Delhi Police with reference to the number of persons arrested in the Delhi Riots cases. (Annexure 1)

Thus the total number of those arrested/under probe in Delhi Riots 2020 cases is approximately 1300 persons in 750 cases. Available data shared by the Delhi Police on public platforms also repeatedly indicates that there is no communal bias in the arrests made in the case of Delhi Riots 2020. The numbers of those arrested are roughly equal.

How many of those arrested in the Delhi Riots are students and activists

The following persons 15 arrested/being probed may qualify to be students and activists based on data available in media and other reports.

S

Name

Description

No

 

 

 

 

 

1

Gulafsha Khatoon

Former student of Delhi University and Jamia

 

 

Milia Islamia ,28 years

 

 

 

2

Pervez Ahmed

Member of the Popular front of India ,SDPI

 

 

 

3

Mohammad Iliyas

Member of the Popular front of India

 

 

 

4

Danish

Member of the Popular front of India

 

 

 

5

Asif Tanha

Student,Jamia Milia Islamia,24 years

 

 

 

6

Safoora Zargar

Doctoral student at Jamia Milia Islamia,28

 

 

years

 

 

 

7

Meeran Haider

Doctoral student, Member of RJD,35 years

 

 

 

8

Ishrat Jahan

Lawyer, former Congress Counciller

 

 

 

9

Tahir Hussain

Former member of Aam Admi Party

 

 

 

10

Shifa ur Rehman

Alumne of Jamia Milia Islamia

 

 

 

11

Shadab Alam

Resident of Chand Bagh

 

 

 

12

Khalid Saifi

Member of United against Hate

 

 

 

13

Umar Khalid

Former student of Jawaharlal Nehru

 

 

University,Under probe,32 years

 

 

 

14

Natasha Narwal

Former student of Hindu College ,DU, now at

 

 

JNU, Member of Pinjra Tod,32 years

 

 

 

15.

Debangana Kalita

Former student of Miranda house, DU, now at

 

 

JNU, Member of Pinjra Tod,30 years

 

 

 

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How many of those arrested in the Delhi Riots cases are women?

Of the 15 persons being discussed and listed above 5 are women. It may be recalled that large number of women were put at the front in the Anti-CAA protest sites which later turned into riot centers.

What are the charges against those who have been arrested in the Delhi Riots 2020?

The following are the charges that have been invoked while probing and asking for judicial remand:

a.Gulafsha Khatoon

She was arrested on 9 April 2020 on the basis of FIR no. 48 in Jaffrabad under sections 186, 188, 353, 283, 341, 109, 147, 34 of the Indian Penal Code. These accusations are related to obstruction, disobedience and assault on public servant, rioting, common intention and others.

Another case against her is related to FIR No. 59 filed by the Crime Branch. The prime accused in the FIR are Umar Khalid and Danish. Gulfisha is a co-accused along with two more, Meeran Haidar and SafooraJargar. She has been booked under UAPA.

Her judicial remand under UAPA has been extended till 25 June 2020. It was granted by the Additional sessions Judge Court on 28 May 2020. The Order for extension of remand reads as: “The IO has specifically prayed that the judicial remand of the accused Gulfisha Khatoon be extended for a period of 30 days. As per the provisions of Section 167 CrPC when the investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours and the accusation or information well founded, the accused can be remanded to judicial custody/police custody, subject to the statutory condition mentioned therein. In view of the same, accused Gulfisha Khatoon is remanded to judicial custody till 25.06.2020.”

A Writ petition of habeas corpus has been filed through her lawyer Mehboob Pracha on 16 May 2020, challenging extension of her remand by a magistrate. The hearing on the petition has been scheduled for 8th June 2020. The Police has already filed its reply. The 28-year-oldGulfisha is not a student any more. She had completed her graduation and masters from Delhi University and MBA from a private University.

It has been stated that she was responsible for creating and maintaining the dharna site at Seelampur and subsequently organizing the women at Seelampur to come over into the Jaffrabad Metro station. This led to the blocking of road number 66 and was the immediate trigger for riots in North East Delhi.

Apart from inciting violence she has also been seen as culpable in gathering and stockpiling of a variety of arms and ammunition for the riots.

She has also been investigated by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police investigating the Delhi Riots 2020.

b.Pervez Ahmed, Mohammad Iliyas and Danish

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All three are members of the Delhi Unit of the Popular Front of India. They have been accused of money laundering to fund the Delhi Riots and of spreading false propaganda that led to these riots. Danish Khan has been probed for spreading false propaganda during anti-CAA protests. The police also charged him with circulating money to fund anti-CAA protests across the national capital. The three were arrested for offences under Section 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

They have been subsequently granted bail.

c. Safoora Zargar

Zargar is a MPhil student of Jamia Millia Islamia. She had been arrested on April 13, 2020. She has been charged with as being amongst those who organised an anti-CAA protest and road blockade under the Jafrabad Metro station in Delhi on February 22-23.This had led to riots in the area on the same day.

The FIR was registered by the Crime Branch on March 6 2020 under IPC sections 147, 148, 149 and 120(B), which relate to rioting, armed with deadly weapon and unlawful assembly. After the case was transferred to the Special Cell, charges of conspiracy to commit murder (302), attempt to murder (307), sedition (124 A), promoting enmity between different communities on grounds of religion (153 A) and sections of the Arms Act were added. Around April 20, the Special Cell added sections 13, 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to the FIR. These sections are related to offences of unlawful activity i.e. the commission of a terrorist act, collecting funds for a terrorist act and conspiracy for committing a terrorist act.

This week, a Delhi court extended by 30 days the judicial custody of Safoora Zargar and Meeran Haider, Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) members booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act -- remanded them to further custody till June 25, 2020 .

As per the Special Cell submission before the Aditional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana, Safoora was a part of the ‘premediated conspiracy’ to incite communal violence in NE Delhi. She has been charged with 18 criminal offences under UAPA, which includes- rioting.

The Police told the Court as it was listening to the bail application of Safoora that “SafooraZargar…is a part of the chain…people sitting in various sites were asked to block the roads” and it added that the JCC members incited people to block roads and rioting.

AKashmiri from Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir, 28-year-old Safoora did her graduation from Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, then her Masters in Sociology from Jamia Milia University and joined MPhil from Jamia in 2019.

The Left eco-system has been highlighting her pregnancy and her confinement during Covi- 19 as humanitarian issues, without realising that she is accused under the stringent UAPA for her role in rioting which killed 53 persons including Scheduled castes and Muslims.

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d. Meeran Haider

Haider, 35 years, is a PhD student at Jamia Milia Islamia and a member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (Youth Wing ). He has also been arrested under the UAPA for hatching a conspiracy to incite the communal riots in February. Haider is a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee. The accused has also been charged under sedition, attempt to murder, murder, criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth etc.

He is a resident of Jamia Nagar, was served a notice on March 31, asking him to join the probe in the case of rioting and criminal conspiracy that was registered by the Crime Branch after the North-east Delhi riots.

According to news reports he and his few associates had mobilised around 60 people to instigate riots in the national capital. He was also allegedly present in the Chand Bagh area during the riots. The accused had also run Whatsapp groups to incite riots in Delhi.

e. Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan

Khalid Saifi has been arrested in connection with FIR 44, filed at the Jagatpuri Police Station on February 26 2020. He along with Ishrat Jahan had been named as the main accused in the FIR. The police claimed that it was trying to convince a large crowd that had gathered near the anti-CAA protest site in Khureji Khas to leave the area when the cops heard a commotion and sounds of gunfire from the protest venue.

The FIR says that Jehan asked the women to stay back and told the cops that they will not leave at any cost, while Saifi incited protesters to pelt stones at the police. The FIR goes on to say that anti-CAA protesters, including Ansari, started pelting stones at the police and a gun shot was fired which almost hit a police constable.

Saifi was denied bail in FIR 44 and subsequently the Special Cell also sought his remand in connection with FIR 59 pertaining to the Delhi communal violence. Jehan was granted bail on March 21, but on the same day she was arrested by the Special Cell in connection with FIR 59. Saifi and Jehan are both currently in judicial custody and are facing charges under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, murder, attempt to murder and rioting. Both are in judicial custody till May 30. She has been granted bail on 30 May 2020.

Khalid Saifi is a businessman by profession and the founder of United Against Hate. Ishrat Jahan is an ex- member of the Congress Party.

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f. Asif Iqbal Tanha

Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha is a resident of Abul Fazal Enclave in Shaheen Bagh, is a member of the Students Islamic Organization and was part of the Jamia Coordination Committee which spearheaded protests against the new Citizenship Amendment Law. Tanha, 24, is a third-year student of BA in Persian language and was also recently arrested by the police in a separate case related to riots in the Jamia area in December last year. He was named as an accused in the FIR. He seems to be the only one in the list of discussed cases who qualifies to be a student.

g. Shifa-Ur-Rehman

He is the President of the Jamia Alumni Association (AAJMI) and has been arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act ,UAPA, over his alleged involvement in the North East Delhi violence. Shifa-Ur-Rehman, also a member of Jamia Coordination Committee, was arrested on April 27 ,2020 .by the Delhi Police Special Cell.

The police claims to have had technical evidence against him which suggests that he incited mobs during the riots.He was also seen in the CCTV footage which was collected from the riot-affected areas. The Police has said that they have checked his call record details and WhatsApp messages and found more evidence which suggests his involvement in the riots.The police told the court that the accused was involved in fund collection from abroad for funding anti-CAA and NRC protests and giving hate speeches at different places in Delhi that resulted into riots. The police said that Rahman’s name cropped up while interrogating other accused like Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar and others.The police told the courts that Rahman, along with other AAJMI members-Areeb and Badr-e-Alam as also some members of the JCC visited anti-CAA protest sites in Delhi and delivered hate speeches. He also collected funds from Jamia alumni based in Middle East countries which were used for funding anti-CAA protests all over Delhi and other places.

Rahman was arrested by the Special Cell under Sections 120B read with 124A, 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) along with other sections of the Indian Penal Code and 3

&4 of Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act 1984, 25/27 of Arms Act, and 13, 16,

17 and 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

h. Umar Khalid

Former student of JNU, Umar Khalid has so been booked under UAPA in the Delhi Riots case. Khalid has not been arrested yet.It fclaimed that as per the pre-planned conspiracy, Khalid had given provocative speeches at various places (in Delhi and in Amravati in Maharashtra) and appealed to the Muslim minority community gathering to block roads and other public places during the visit of President of US Donald Trump.

Umar Khalid has at least four cases against him where he has been found indulging in propaganda and inciting violence.

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i. Shadab Alam

Shadab Alam works in a pharmaceutical company and , along with eight others, was arrested when information was received that people who took part in rioting on the intervening night of February 23-24 were present at Sherpur Chowk, Karawal Nagar Road and planning to trigger another riot.Police has said that Shadab Alam was part of an unlawful assembly that had torched vehicles and shops. He has been booked under section 436 of the IPC, which is punishable with up to 10 years of imprisonment, and since the investigation is still going on, no bail should be granted to him at this stage.He is not a student.

j. Natasha Narwal and Debangana Kalita

The two activists of Pinjra Tod, were arrested on 23 May 2020, for their alleged role in the Jafarabad sit-in protest and were granted bail the next day. However, within minutes, the two women were arrested again on charges of attempt to murder, rioting, and criminal conspiracy

In addition to UAPA charges on the two include:

Sections 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience of order by public servant), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way), 109 (abetment), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.

sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 307 (attempt to murder), 302 (murder), 427, 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 188 (disobedience of public servant's order) of the IPC,Arms Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

‘Investigation is pending. Grounds of arrest have been examined. There were sufficient grounds for arrest of the accused persons. Keeping in view the nature of these allegations, accused persons are remanded to judicial custody and be produced on 11.06.2020, Duty Magistrate Kapil Kumar wrote in his order in a discussion on extension of Police remand for the two.

Kalita (30) and Narwal (32) were produced before the metropolitan magistrate inside Mandoli jail after being questioned for four days.

Devangana Kalita (30) and Natasha Narwal (32) are both doctoral students .While Kalita is an MPhil student at JNU’s Centre for Women’s Studies, Narwal is a PhD student at the Centre for Historical Studies. They are both founding members of Pinjra Tod, formed in 2015, primarily in opposition to hostel curfews at Delhi’s colleges and universities. Kalita and Narwal have done their graduation from DU’s Miranda House and Hindu College, respectively. They are also named in the disclosure statement of a co-accused persons arrested in present case. Police claim the two women, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, were among those who organised an anti-CAA protest and road blockade under Jafrabad Metro station on February 22-23. A day later, riots broke out in the district.

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The women are facing three probes by the Special Cell, the Jafrabad police station, and the Crime Branch SIT.

Natasha Narwal and Debangana Kalita

A chargesheet was filed in a case was registered by Delhi Police for murder and riots that took place on February 25, 2020, on Road Number 66l, near Jafrabad Metro Station, Delhi. A man named Aman had died due to gunshot injury during the riot.

The investigation into the riots that took place in Jafrabad revealed the involvement of a certain “Pinjra Tod Group”, a far-left organisation, in inciting the riots in the region. The Delhi Police had recently arrested two persons in connection with the riots that ensued in Jafrabad.

WhatsApp messages retrieved from the phone of one of the accused, mentioned in the charge-sheet, indicate that the group was laying the groundwork for riots in North East Delhi.. “Ghar me garam khaulta hua pani or tel ka intezam kare (Keep boiling water and oil handy in your house)”, “Tezab ki bottle ghar me rakhe (Keep bottles of acid in your houses)”, Cars/bikes se petrol nikalkar rakhe (extract petrol from your car/bike and keep with you)”, Balcony/terrace par eit or patthar rakhe (store bricks or stones on your balcony or terrace)”, “Lohe ke darwazo me switch se current ka istemal kare (metal doors should be

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electrified using switches)” are some of the messages mentioned in the chargesheet.

k. Tahir Hussian

An Aam Aadmi Party Councilor (now expelled), Tahir Hussian had emerged as one of the key links in the Delhi Riots even before the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against him on 2 June 2020.

The Charge sheet mentions that 15 prople including Tahir Hussian planned the riots in North East Delhi. "Tahir Hussain allegedly funded the riot. He gave Rs 1.30 crore to different people. Tahir's Brother Shah and Gulfam were also given responsibilities during the riot. Tahir would also meet Umar Khalid and JNU students," the charge sheet reads.

Tahir along with others have been booked under 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 395, 427, 435, 436, 452, 454, 153A, 505, 120B, of the Indian Penal Code and 3/4 PDPP Act and Arms Act. The charge-sheet says that the ex-AAP councilor had released his pistol from PS Khajuri Khas on February 22, 2020, one day prior to the starting of the riots in Delhi. .

‘Recovery of crates containing glass bottles having some liquid filled in them and their necks

stuffed with pieces of clothes which were used/to be used as Molotov cocktails, a large number of bricks and stone pieces and three catapults from the house of accused Tahir Hussain further point towards the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for causing riots

in the area,”

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Which are the Organizations alleged to be directly involved in Delhi Riots

Popular Front of India (PFI)

Three office-bearers of the Islamic fundamentalist organization were arrested in the beginning of the investigation. It is an organization which has charges of terror, bomb making and other activities. The PFI has a history of gory violence in Kerala.

Pinjara Tod

It is a movement which began in 2015 by ultra-left students who tried to highlight issues of girls’ hostel timing in Lady Sri Ram College and Miranda House in Delhi University and Jamia Milia Islamia. The network spread to JNU. Of the two activists of Pinjara Tod arrested so far Debangana Kalita is an Ex- student of Miranda House and Natasha Narwal of Hindu college in DU.Both are now students of JNU.

It may be recalled that some social media posts of the organizers of Shaheen Bagh had publicly indicated that Pinjara Tod is working on ground to incite violence on the dharna site at Shaheen Bagh.

Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC)

Two members of the JCC, Meeran Haidar and Safoora Jargar have been arrested under the stringent UAPA. Delhi Police’s Special Cell which is the Anti-terrorism Unit of Delhi Police told the Court that JCC was responsible for inciting people for road blockages and rioting. The Police stated this while the Court was hearing the bail application of Safoora Jargar on 30 May 2020. The Special Cell is investigating the case for larger conspiracy. Other Jamia students charged under the UAPA are- Asif Iqbal Tanha and Shifa-ul-Rehman.

This Committee was constituted in the wake of the passing of Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019. It consists of the current students and alumni of Jamia Milia Islamia University. The anti-CAA protesting had outside Jamia on 14 December 2019 and it had also led to violence on the campus 15 December 2019 as the rioters/stone-pelters had entered the Library of the University. The Jamia Coordination Committee, which was forefront at instigating violence on the streets of Delhi during the anti-CAA protests, had extensively run

a so-called ‘awareness campaign’ in Muslim-dominated areas of Delhi where anti-Hindu riots had erupted in Delhi.

United Against Hate

This organisation claims to be working against lynching of Muslims in hate crimes in India. This itself is vulture politics over lynchings that are recognised as a law and order problem in India.United Against Hate has organised many programmes against CAA. Its founder Khalid Saifi was arrested on 26 February 2020 from Khureji Khas, NE Delhi along with Ishrat Jahan

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and Sabu Ansari in connection with FIR 44, registered in Jagatpuri PS pertaining to Delhi riots.

Conclusion

A study of the facts and cases related to these 15 arrests/probes in the Delhi Riots 2020 shows that out of the cases that are being widely discussed as student arrests, only about four can be classified as students. Thus the premise that Students are being arrested is misleading. The total number of arrests is approximately 1300, out of which 15 are being discussed as student activists and out of these too 5 are students.

Some of those arrested belong to political parties and thus can be termed as political activists. Many of those arrested belong to dangerous and radical Islamist organizations like the Popular Front of India and the Social Democratic Party of India. Thus the tag given to them of ‘Anti-CAA activists’, is inaccurate and is misleading.

There is no communal bias in the investigation and arrests in the Delhi Riots 2020. As the survey above shows, the police is on record stating that out of the approximately 1300 persons arrested there is equal number of arrests from both communities.

There is no bias in the judicial and law enforcement process as well. Bail applications of those who have been arrested have been presented in court with due diligence. Some of those arrested have got bail. The applications of some have been rejected. Amongst the bail applications opposed by the Delhi Policec is also the application of those arrested for the murder of 85 year old Akbari Begum,in Khajuri Khas. None of those charged or arrested have been denied legal help.All due procedures of law have been followed.

There is no available data on the number of women arrested in the cases on Delhi Riots 2020.However it has been observed that a large number of women were also involved in actively planning and engaging in violence during the Delhi Riots 2020. This has been established in previous reports.

Of the 15 cases examined here, 8 have been charged under the UAPA which is usually invoked when the investigations point to serious offences. Many of those discussed here have multiple cases registered against them. Local FIR’s have led to larger investigations. Subsequently they have been charged under the UAPA.Amongst those arrested/being probed; two persons namely Asif Tanha and Umar Khalid have multiple cases against them and they have been previously involved with the law.

How long does it take for a student to become a responsible citizen on whom laws of the land are applicable? This is a moot question.

The fake news industry has also been active in the case of the Delhi Riots. There has been a sustained campaign against Police and the State and the Response of the

Investigative agencies

Delhi Police have sent rebuttal to the Wire, The Hindu and the Indian Express for publishing fake/distorted news items. Subsequently these media houses made amendments apologetically. Pulling up The Wire for its story on 13 May 2020, wherein it had forged two distinct cases of separate FIRs and created a fake story of ‘a single

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FIR, double standards’, the Delhi Police PRO wrote,

“The author in a frenzy to buttress a hypothesis of bias and discrimination, has most dull-wittedly mixed up two FIRS, both bearing the same number.” Further snubbing the Left leaning portal, the letter of rejoinder continues, “While you may persist with your mindset, do not forget to cross-check.” Through the story, The Wire had juxtaposed the case of one ‘Muslim pregnant woman’, Safoora Zargar with a Hindu man to create a fake narrative.

Two days later on 15.05.2020, Left-leaning newspaper, The Hindu published a story Rescripting North-east Delhi Riots- and Question of Justice. The story was based on a fallacious report by PUDR. Delhi Police pulled it up by terming it “factually incorrect”, based on “wholly unverified sources” and “purely conjectural imagination”, leading to “an incontrovertible conclusion of either pure indolence or crass communalism.” The rebuttal continues as, “You treat the riots as unidimensional. Fortunately, though Delhi Police does not suffer from cognitive disability...each arrested person was produced before the Judicial Magistrate as mandated in law, where legal aid was available to him/her in the form of private Counsel or a Legal aid Counsel from the Delhi Legal Services Authority

Further accusing the story based on selective FIRs, Delhi Police questioned “the lopsided intellectual capabilities, single community bias, fragmentation and sectarian approach.” The Police reprimanded the writer for spreading lies about clubbing of FIRs in Delhi riots cases, “For every single murder case, Delhi Police has registered a separate FIR and clubbing is only a mindset of authors, not a fact as claimed.”

Further reprimanding PUDR, the rights group for its malicious report, Delhi Police PRO has written, “We remain committed to ensuring justice for victims and we expect greater realisation of responsibilities incumbent upon the enlightened civil society organisations.”

The Indian Express wrote a news story on 24.05.2020, NE Delhi Riots: For Lack of Evidence 20 Get Bail. Responding to this, Delhi Police wrote a strong rebuttal to the Indian Express for distortion of facts through the story and called it ‘misleading and mischievous’. It reprimanded the Express reporter for the ‘misleading’ story and to have woven it “by selecting a few facts, that too in bits and pieces” as per his convenience. He has “tried to build an impression that the accused persons arrested in rioting cases of NE Delhi have been released on bail due to shoddy investigation, which is completely misleading and mischievous.” The fact is that “in SIT cases only three bails have been given, which too are being challenged.”

Accusing the Express reporter further, Delhi Police wrote that he is trying to build “an unfounded narrative” that Delhi Police made “arrests without collecting proper evidence.” It continues, “He is trying to play to the gallery of vested interests and build a counter narrative in favour of the conspirators and other guilty persons.”

About the investigation of Delhi Riots, the investigative agency makes it clear, “It is to emphasise that investigation in all cases connected to NE Delhi Riots is being done meticulously and without any fear or favor. The sole objective of the investigation is to bring to books the perpetrators of the riots.”

As the investigation has progressed, the agency has claimed to have made around 1300

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arrests in 750 cases irrespective of their religion or community or ideology or gender. The number of cases registered in Delhi riots is unprecedented. The Police has claimed to have arrested almost equal number of accused from both the communities based on scientific and technical evidence.

A proposal for appointing a Claims Commission has been moved to fix responsibility to penalise offenders and compensate victims. Delhi Court has already appointed a Claims Commission which will independently examine cases under the guidance of the honourable High Court. Almost half the cases of compensation for damage and loss to property have been claimed to be already resolved.

The Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa has stated, “The police actions in all such situations are guided by the twin principles of providing relief to the victims and ensuring legal action against the perpetrators.”

Initially some of the arrests were made by local Police on the basis of FIRs registered. As the investigation progressed, it was taken up by the Crime Branch and the Special Cell.

A remarkable point about the arrests, as claimed by agencies, is that except a few cases, bail has not been granted. In the cases where it has happened too, it is conditional/ on technical grounds/ interim bail as in the case of Ishrat Jahan for her scheduled marriage on 12 June 2020.

Thus in conclusion it can be summarized that:

1.The discourse that students and activists are being arrested in the investigations into the Delhi Riots not supported by facts.

2.The narrative that only Muslims are being arrested and convicted for the violence in the Delhi Riots 2020 is again not supported by facts. For instance the Delhi Police opposed the bail of the accused in the cold blooded murder of 85 year old Akbari Begum.

3.The Delhi Police and law enforcement are working as per the law of the land to ensure speedy justice to all the victims of the riots that occurred in North East Delhi in February 2020.

4.The repeated attempts to create a discourse that ‘students’ and ‘activists’ are being targeted and specific communities targeted in the riots is a false narrative that does not stand up to the scrutiny of hard facts.

Compiled by:

Advocate Monika Arora

Dr.Prerna Malhotra

Sonali Chitalkar

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Annexure-I

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