15 figure in Delhi communal riots plot chargesheet
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Wednesday filed a voluminous chargesheet in a local court against 15 accused for their alleged role in the larger conspiracy in the North East Delhi riots in February last that left over 50 people dead. Bunched in 11 volumes, the chargesheet runs into 17,000 pages.
The 15 accused named in the chargesheet are former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain, Abdul Khalid Saifi, Isharat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Gullisha, Safoora Zargar, Shifa Ur Rehman, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohamaad Saleem Khan, Athar Khan and Pinjra Tod founder members Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita.
They are part of the 21 who are already under arrest under the Unlawful Activities (Preventions) Act (UAPA) and various sections of Indian Penal Code such as criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, sedition, promoting enmity, rioting and causing damage to public property. The six others, including Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Parvez Ahmad and Faizan, are expected to figure in a supplementary chargesheet in the coming days.
“It took 195 days to complete the first phase of investigation. During this period, 747 witnesses were examined and approximately 75 electronic devices seized as part of the investigation,” the police said.
This is the first chargesheet on the larger conspiracy behind the riots. The case was handled by the Special Cell of the police.
According to sources, Tahir Hussain has been named the key conspirator. All 15, the chargesheet alleges, were guiding their foot soldiers on the violence in the area. It accused them of using a WhatsApp group on the anti-CAA protests to instigate violence in the Jafrabad-Seelampur area.
In all, 751 first information reports (FIRs) were filed in connection with the riots. “Of the total FIRs, 59 were assigned to the SIT constituted in the Crime Branch, 691 were investigated by the district police, and one case registered on March 6 to investigate the larger conspiracy behind the riots was assigned to the Special Cell,” the police said.
As part of the probe, 12 pistols, 121 empty cartridges, 92 live cartridges, 61 glass bottles filled with noxious chemicals and an assortment of sharp-edged weapons have been seized so far by the police.
In the clash that broke out in the last week of February, at least 53 people died and 583 others were injured. Also, properties were widely damaged in arson attacks during the riots.
HC: Go to trial court for bail
The Delhi High Court asked arrested Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, who is among the 15 people chargesheeted on Wednesday in the Delhi riots case, to approach the trial court for bail.