Delhi Police On a Spree To Arrest Muslim Youths Connected with Anti-CAA Protests, Booking Them for Northeast Delhi Violence During Trump Visit
Syed Khalique Ahmed & Afzal Rahman | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, APRIL 5—When the entire nation is fully involved in fighting the dreaded coronavirus that has claimed 75 lives and thousands of others have been detected to be COVID-19 positive, the Delhi police is on a spree to arrest the Muslim youths and activists who were on the forefront of anti-CAA agitation on the allegations of their involvement or allegedly conspiring the northeast Delhi riots, which the Muslims largely believe to be anti-Muslim pogrom having been orchestrated to divert attention from anti-CAA protest and weaken the movement.
While the Muslims found themselves at the receiving end during the violence termed as riot by the police, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police on March 6 registered an FIR accusing former JNU student Umar Khalid and his unnamed colleagues in the “larger conspiracy” behind the northeast Delhi riots that claimed 54 lives, mostly Muslims, resulting in injuries to hundreds of others and displacement of thousands of people, apart from loss of properties worth thousands of crores of rupees and almost 99 per cent belonging to Muslims. Said to be the biggest anti-Muslim violence in the history of Delhi after 1947, the violence attracted international media-print, electronic and digital-giving it a huge coverage. There is hardly any prominent world media that did not cover it, owing to the savagery involved in it in a highly planned manner.
While a Jamia PhD student Meeran Haider and a scores of others from the Peoples Front of India (PFI) as also activists from the United Against Hate (UAH) have been arrested and linked with this conspiracy, Umar Khalid and one Danish, a resident of Bhajanpura in northeast Delhi, also mentioned in the FIR as one of the chief conspirator, are yet to be arrested. If the police sources are to be believed, more activists are on the list who would be arrested in days to come allegedly at the behest of the political masters with a view to paralyse the Muslim activists so that anti-CAA movement dies when the lockdown is finally lifted. Anti-CAA movement launched mainly by the Muslims all over the country had attracted international headlines that severely dented India’s image as a secular and democratic nation in which people of all faiths enjoy equal rights. The anti-CAA movement was withdrawn due to unprecedented situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak.
The FIR number 0059 was lodged at the Crime Branch Police station by sub-inspector Arvind Kumar on the information he received against the accused persons through a “mukhbir” (informer). The accused persons have been slapped with Sections 147, 148, 149 and 120-B of Indian Penal Code pertaining to rioting and conspiracy.
The FIR says that what happened in northeast Delhi on February 23, 24 and 25 was a “pre-planned conspiracy”.
The FIR claims that “the violence was conspired on February 23, 24 and 25 coinciding with the visit of US President Donal Trump to carry out a propaganda that minorities in India are subjected to persecution and tyranny”.
“As a part of this conspiracy, Umar Khalid delivered provocative speeches at different places and with the help of his colleagues, he designed a plot to engineer riots by assembling women and children at different places in Delhi. Under this conspiracy, firearms, petrol bombs, acid bottles, boulders and big-sized ‘gulel’(catapults) to lob and fling them were collected at several areas of northeast Delhi like Maujpur, Kardampuri, Jafrabad, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri and Shiv Vihar etc”, says the FIR.
The FIR claims that Danish was given the responsibility to collect crowd from outside who took part in the violence. “Under this very plot, women and children were brought to block the road under Jafrabad Metro Station to create tension and engineer violence. Some of the schools in these areas that have mostly Muslim students, were got vacated under a pre-planned strategy on the same day (February 23)”, the FIR goes on.
“If an in-depth investigation in the conspiracy is conducted, we can reach up to all the accused persons involved in the violence”, the FIR concludes.
A legal expert said that the nature of the FIR is so wide that any number of people could be arrested and at any point of time as happened in several cases that were lodged after anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002.
Many youths told India Tomorrow that they were called by the crime branch and questioned about who were behind arranging finance for anti-CAA protests at Jamia, Shaheen and other places in Delhi as also in other states.
It was in this chain that Jamia PhD Student Meeran Haider was also questioned by the Crime Branch and subsequently arrested on Thursday (April 3) and has now been charged for allegedly inciting riots in North East Delhi along with Umar Khalid and Danish. Meeran was active in the anti-CAA protests in Jamia Millia Islamia which was temporarily called off due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Khalid Saifi, one of the founders of the UAH, was arrested by the Delhi police on February 26, along with another activist Ishrat Jahan, on charges of preventing police from removing anti-CAA protesters in Khajuri. Both the activists were behind the anti-CAA protest in Khajuri in trans-yamuna area. He is alleged to have been tortured and both of his legs broken though it was not the case when he was arrested. Now conspiracy charges with regard to northeast Delhi riots have also been slapped on him and he continues to be in judicial custody.
Earlier, Delhi police arrested Popular Front of India president Parvez Ahmed and its secretary Mohammed Ilyas, on allegations of supporting the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests. A Kashmiri couple was also arrested from Jamia Nagar on allegations of instigating anti-CAA protests in Delhi. They were identified as Sami and his wife Hina Bashir. Police said that they were allegedly linked with Islamic State’s Khorasan module.
Samajwadi party worker and activist Ashu Khan, a resident of Bhaskar Compound in Abul Fazal Enclave, was arrested on Saturday (April 5) for his alleged involvement in the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protest. He was presented before a court on Sunday and remanded to two-day police custody.
Ashu Khan was arrested on the basis of an FIR number 0043 registered in Shaheen Bagh Police Station on March 24, when the 21-day long total lockdown nationwide began. The FIR says that there were a large number of protesters at the Shaheen Bagh site occupying the Kalindi-Kunj-Sarita Vihar Road. While nine of them were arrested by the police, others managed to escaped, including Ashu Khan, who were obstructing the police in carrying out its official duty. Ashu Khan has been charged under Sections 186, 353, 341, 188, 269 and 34 of Indian Penal Code as also section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.