Chidambaram takes dig at Delhi police for naming Yechury in Delhi riots case

The former finance minister said the BJP has "stooped to a new low" in its attempt to suppress peaceful dissent against its policies

P Chidambaram said he was glad that former police officer Julio Ribeiro has "upbraided" the Delhi police for its "biased handling" of the Delhi riots case. File photo: PTI

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday (September 13) came out in support of Sitaram Yechury and others named in the supplementary charge sheet in the Delhi riots case and accused Delhi police of bringing the criminal justice system to ridicule.

The former finance minister said the BJP has “stooped to a new low” in its attempt to suppress peaceful dissent against its policies.

Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram said, “Delhi police have brought the criminal justice system to ridicule by naming Mr Sitaram Yechury and many other scholars and activists in a supplementary charge sheet in the Delhi riots case.”

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He questioned how “if an accused (Gulfisha Fathima) mentions a name in her statement, that person will (automatically) be named as an accused in the charge sheet”.

“Has the Delhi police forgotten that between the Information and Charge Sheet there are important steps called Investigation and Corroboration?” he asked.

Other than Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand figure in the supplementary charge sheet.

However, the Delhi police have clarified that they have not filed a charge sheet against them and underscored the difference between naming someone as an accused and mentioning a name due to allegations.

“It is worth mentioning that the disclosure statement has been truthfully recorded as narrated by the accused. A person is not arraigned as an accused only on the basis of a disclosure statement. However, it is only on the existence of sufficient corroborative evidence that further legal action is taken. The matter is currently in court,” the police said in a statement on Saturday.

Chidambaram further said he was glad that former police officer Julio Ribeiro has “upbraided” the Delhi police for its “biased handling” of the Delhi riots case. “Will the Delhi police listen to this iconic police officer,” he asked.

Following the news that Yechury was named as part of the allegations, the veteran parliamentarian called the police actions “illegitimate, illegal”.

“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,” Yechury said in a series of tweets on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said, “The BJP has reached new lows in its attempt to suppress peaceful dissent against its policies which have torn the socio-economic-politico fabric of this nation.”

“The misuse of Delhi police to choke voices like Sitaram Yechury and others is shameful and highly condemnable,” he said.

Another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said, “This is worse than atrocious. I am in full solidarity with those chargesheeted. They are greater desh bhakts than the fraudulent ones in power now.”

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “If speaking truth to power is a crime, If exposing circle of hate is a crime, If standing up to rioters is a crime, If being righteous & just is a crime, Then, each one of us must be booked, chargesheeted & jailed. Only then will my Country survive. Jai Hind.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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