All CAA protest sites were close to mosques: Govt while opposing Umar Khalid’s bail plea

Anti-CAA protest in New Delhi's Shaheen Bagh. Photo: Shakeeb KPA/Maktoob
Anti-CAA protest in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. Photo: Shakeeb KPA/Maktoob

The prosecution opposing activist Umar Khalid’s bail in a northeast Delhi pogrom case has told a Delhi court that all the anti-CAA protest sites in the national capital were picked because of their proximity to mosques.

All the 25 protest sites were “purposefully given secular names,” Indian Express quotes Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad making arguments before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.

“Shreeram colony protest site was actually Noorani Masjid protest. Sadar Bazar protest site was Shahi Idgaah. Shastri Park protest site was actually Wahid Jama Masjid. Gandhi Park protest site was actually Jamila Masjid… All 25 protests sites I have pointed out are in close vicinity of masjids. That is the identification of these protest sites,” Prasad said.

Prosecutor further argued that the anti-CAA demonstration sites were not organic in nature and that “hidden elements were PFI, Jamat-e-Hind and Student Islamic Organisation of India.”

The purpose of the Jamia Awareness Campaign Team (JACT) was to “spread disinformation and instigate Muslims about CAA, NRC and to induce their women and children to join protests,” he told the court.

Jamia Awareness Campaign Team (JACT) was a part of the Jamia Coordination Committee, which organised weeks of peaceful protests in the capital against the citizenship law passed in December 2019.

Prosecutor’s arguments, which began on Tuesday could not be concluded, will be heard on 28 January, Indian Express reported.

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader and United Against Hate activist Umar Khalid was taken in custody a year and a half ago and put behind bars at Delhi’s Tihar Jail under the draconian UAPA.

More than a dozen Muslim activists, students, local politicians, and residents of northeast Delhi were arrested for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act under draconian UAPA. It was during the anti-CAA protests that anti-Muslim violence erupted in Muslim neighborhoods of northeastern Delhi in February 2020. At least 53 people, most of them Muslims, were killed, and dozens of houses and mosques were destroyed.

Ground reports, visuals, and detailed fact-finding reports showed the inaction and complicity of Delhi Police in the Hindutva violence against Muslims, the worst the capital had seen since the anti-Sikh genocide of 1984.