On 3 August 2020, almost all of mainstream media including published reports of former AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain having made confessional statements that he was the “mastermind” behind the northeast Delhi violence in February 2020 and that he had done so to “teach Hindus a lesson”.
In response to a Right to Information query filed by activist Nilim Dutta, chairman of the Unified People’s Movement, Delhi Police Crime Branch said “no confession by Tahir Hussain has been recorded under Section 164 CrPC.”
In his RTI query, Dutta had asked whether Hussain had recorded any confession saying that he had planned and executed the Delhi riots and if he had, then when and before which magistrate.
The Print,ND TV, Zee News and news agency Asian News International (ANI) published the news of Tahir Hussain’s confession. While ANI and the Print claimed to have accessed the document, Zee News clearly stated that the information came from the Delhi police.
According to Zee News, Tahir confessed that on February 4, he met Saifi again at Abu Fazal Enclave to discuss planning for riots and said that Saifi informed that the riot plan should be carried out during the visit of United States President Donald Trump to India to put pressure on the Centre.
According to CrPC Section 164, only confession before the magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC is only admissible as evidence in court.
Tahir Hussain’s lawyer Javed Ali had earlier told media that Tahir Hussain has not admitted anything with regard to Delhi pogrom cases.
The anti-Muslim violence in northeast Delhi in February is widely acknowledged to have been sparked by incendiary comments made by Kapil Mishra, about Muslims peacefully protesting against ‘anti-Muslim and unconstitutional’ citizenship law. Video evidence and witness accounts pointed to police allowing Hindu mobs to roam the streets freely to target the Muslim community.