Delhi riots, Delhi, violence, northeast Delhi, assessment
The riots left a trail of deaths and devastation in northeast Delhi. Photo: Shameen Alauddin

The objective was to uproot the elected govt: Delhi riots chargesheet

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The 2,695-page ‘final report’ of Delhi Police’s Special Cell investigating the riots in north-east Delhi early this year speaks of conspirators planning violence immediately after the results of the 2019 general election, The Indian Express reported.

“From the day that the results of the 2019 parliamentary elections were declared, the tone and tenor of the public utterances of the key conspirators of the present case has shown a clear streak of affinity towards violence which had started playing out in their minds.” That’s how the final report in the chargesheet concludes. It relates to a case of alleged conspiracy against 15 people under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

It then deep-dives into the “terrorist act” defined in the Indian context as per section 15 of the UAPA. “In this case, the use of firearms, petrol bombs… causing death of a police personnel and grievous injuries… with the intention to overawe the state and force the Central government to withdraw CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), NRC (National Register of Citizens) clearly falls in the definition of terrorist activity,” it states.

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“Causing death of over 50 persons and serious injuries to over 500 public persons apart from massive damage to public and private properties by arson and other means would also clearly fall within the definition of terrorist activity… Disruption of supplies and services essential to life squarely falls within the ambit of terrorist act,” it says.

The final report, signed by DCP (Special Cell) P S Kushwah and ACP (Special Cell) Alok Kumar, states that “internationally, terrorist activity is defined as the use of violence to force a government to accept/submit to political demands”.

The chargesheet includes the names of former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, Pinjra Tod’s Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, former DU student Gulfisha, Jamia Millia Islamia PhD student Meeran Haider and Jamia Coordination Committee media coordinator Safoora, among others.

The police have attached disclosure statements, call detail records, money trail and transcripts of WhatsApp groups such as DPSG (Delhi Protests Support Group) and Warriors. The chargesheet mentions that “they (conspirators) aimed at bringing the government of India to its knees and enforcing the withdrawal of CAA by timing the execution of their conspiracy with the visit of the US President, thereby hitting two birds with a stone”.

The report concludes that the “end objective of all the conspirators had conspired was to uproot a lawfully elected government by sheer use of engineered, vicious and visceral communal violence”.

The police have attached transcripts of the chats between Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav, filmmakers Rahul Roy and Saba Dewan, Pinjra Tod’s Kalita and Narwal, CPI’s Annie Raja, Rakshita Swamy of MKSS, activists Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj.

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“The conspiracy grew in an organic manner from the formation of a group called MSJ (Muslim Students of JNU), an overtly communal seed that was sown after CAB… to the subsequent formation of JCC and finally the emergence of DPSG, which provided a secular facade and naxal genes of violent resistance to an otherwise radically communal agenda,” says the report.

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