Accused have said they provoked crowds, says charge sheet.
A supplementary charge sheet in the communal riots issue filed by the Delhi police Crime Branch has named Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, along with Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav and some other prominent individuals.
The document in First Information Report number 50, which is part of an alleged disclosure statement, states that Gulfisha Fathima alias Gul, one of those accused, had in her statement said leaders like Mr. Yechury and Mr. Yadav had come to provoke and mobilise the crowd.
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The charge sheet, containing garbled language, quoted Ms. Fathima’s alleged statement as follows: “Speeches were made at the picket sites by presenting Devangana and Natasha Narwal as JNU Scholars, and telling me the local educated so that less educated people could be tricked, and our talk would have more effect, which we misconstrued CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). People started explaining to them that they felt that this law was anti-Muslim. The crowd had started growing and according to the plan, big leaders and lawyers started coming in to provoke and mobilize this crowd including Omar Khalid, Chander Shekhar Ravan, Yogender Yadav, Sitaram Yechury and lawyer Mahmood Pracha said that the sitting-in demonstration is your democratic right, and the rest of the leaders filled the feeling of discontent in the community by calling CAA/NRC anti-Muslim.”
The supplementary charge sheet has been filed against Gulfisha Fathima, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal. The police stated that all three belong to “high class educated society”.
In Ms. Kalita’s alleged statement, police quoted her and mentioned former MLA Mateen Ahmed and MLA Amanatullah Khan. Police quoted her as saying in her statement, that they used their education to influence people.
“Some leaders of Muslim Community are also visited there including Ex. MLA Mateen Ahmed, Anas, Sadaf and MLA Amanatullah Khan. We used our educational qualification to misguide the common Muslim people that we have knowledge about the CAA/NRC and it is against the Muslim,” the document quoted Ms. Kalita’s alleged statement.
Refusal to sign
Both the statements contained handwritten text, stating that the individuals refused to sign them.
The alleged statements of Ms. Natasha Narwal and Ms. Kalita also mention economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy. “Accused Devangana Kalita has disclosed that 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 [the former JNU student leader and activist] had also given some tips for doing protest against CAA/NRC ”. Identical text has been attributed to Ms. Narwal in the document.
Mr. Yechury responded to the police claim on Twitter. “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 & are misusing state power to target the Opposition”.
Mr. Yadav tweeted, “Supplementary charge sheet does NOT mention me as co-conspirator, or even as accused. One passing reference to me and Yechury, in an unauthenticated police statement (not admissible in court) by one accused.”
A Delhi Police Spokesperson said, “The disclosure statement has been truthfully recorded as narrated by the accused person. A person is not arraigned as an accused only on the basis of disclosure statement. However, it is only on the existence of sufficient corroborative evidence is further legal action taken. The matter is currently sub judice”.