The Delhi Police in its supplementary chargesheet have listed out chats with misleading WhatsApp messages on Muslim migration into Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, spotting 12 signs of jihad, and calls for economic boycott of Muslims.
The police’s report is in the context of a Muslim’s murder and refers to a WhatsApp group ‘Kattar Hindut Ekta.’
“In order to take revenge from Muslims, some youths of that area failed to perceive the bottomless stupidity of the propaganda and, as saviours of their community, created a WhatsApp group,” said the charge sheet.
On February 25, a day after the riots broke out, the same message was shared by two members of the group, at 9.42 am and a minute later: “The Hindus are in large numbers. There is tension in the air but still elderly Muslims are not scared. They know about Hindu culture. But just think can a Hindu safely pass through when there is a Muslim crowd?”
Soon after, four participants left the group, following which they were branded Muslims and participants were encouraged to track them down. At one point, participants sent out messages about a “fight between Hindu, Muslim”. There were multiple requests by participants to share their location. Several put up videos apparently of the riot spots.
A long message was shared on the group asking members to “not shoot or swing a sword” but “boycott Muslims economically” since “many countries around the world have adopted this message”, which was “not illegal or creates violence”.
Another long message, at 6.03 pm, addressed to “Uttarakhand brothers”, stated that “Muslims have migrated in large numbers” to Uttar Pradesh and several “beautiful Uttarakhand’s famous religious places”, and asked participants to “not come in the greed for Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500” by “giving them houses on rent” and “ruin their children’s future”.
The police have identified only Binni and Lokesh Solanki, who is among those arrested, among the participants. Some of the others named did not put up inflammatory chats.
Binni went on to provide updates of the violence.
Later on February 26, Solanki posted his first message, introducing himself, “… I have come with my Ganga Vihar team. We have everything… bullets, guns. Everything.”
A participant asked some group members to come to their aid at Bhagirathi Vihar’s Gali No. 13 where a “local RSS member” was under threat as “some Muslims are making plans to corner his house”. Binni responded, “Scare them away. They are all scared today.” One user posted an update about targeting a Muslim “around 9 pm”.
One of the last messages shared on the group was a long WhatsApp post at 11.39 pm on February 26, listing 12 “signs of Jihad” used to “psychologically break down Hindus”. The riots ended by February 26.
Nine people are under judicial custody in the case — Lokesh Kumar Solanki, Pankaj Sharma, Summit Chaudhary, Ankit Chaudhary, Prince, Jatin Sharma, Vivek Panchal, Rishabh Chaudhary, and Himanshu Thakur — and nine absconding. The court had taken cognizance of the charge sheet in June.