The Delhi Police has named fifteen people including politicians, rights activists, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University student leaders and residents of northeast Delhi as accused in charge sheet filed over the violence that took place in national capital in February this year.
The accused who all linked to protests against the centre’s anti-Muslim citizenship law, have been named for orchestrating the riots.
Charges are under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IPC and Arms Act, according to news agency ANI.
The charge sheet filed at Karkardooma Court is over 17,000 pages. According to the news agency, packed in steel boxes, 2,692 pages of the vast charge sheet specifies the charges against the accused whereas the rest pages include the annexure.
The police have included 747 witnesses in the chargesheet and are relying on technical evidence, WhatsApp chats and Call Data Records (CDRs).
While submitting the charge sheet, police said: “The evidence includes WhatsApp chats of 24 February, the time when the riots were taking place. The key conspirators were guiding foot soldiers. Twenty-five WhatsApp groups were specially created for each site. The police identified each group and its role.”
“Conspirators planned the riots while middle ring of leaders at the area level executed the plan through the foot soldiers,” the police said.
The charge sheet includes the name of the following persons:
1- Tahir Hussain
2- Muhammad Parvez Ahmed
3- Muhammad Ilyas
4- Saifi Khalid
5- Ishrat Jahan
6- Miran Haider
7- Safoora Jargar
8- Asif Iqbal Tanha
9- Shadab Ahmed
10- Natasha Narwal
11- Devangana Kalita
12- Taslim Ahmed
13- Salim Malik
14- Muhammad Salim Khan
15- Athar Khan
The charge sheet does not have names of Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam as accused. As they were arrested a few days ago, their names will be in the supplementary charge sheet.
The northeast Delhi riot is widely acknowledged to have been sparked by incendiary comments made by Kapil Mishra, a BJP leader, 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.
Many politicians, rights groups and activists eariler said that the Delhi Police have used draconian anti-terrorism, sedition, and other laws against students, activists, and other government critics in connection with the northeast Delhi violence but have not acted against violence by supporters of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).