Delhi riots: Activists’ plea a bid to derail trial, police tells court

Riots had brokem out in the national capital in February 2020 as clashes between the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and pro-CAA protesters took a violent turn.
Scenes from the 2020 Delhi Riots used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Scenes from the 2020 Delhi Riots used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

NEW DELHI:  The Delhi Police on Tuesday opposed applications filed by a group of student activists 
accused in the 2020 Delhi riots ‘larger conspiracy’ case filed in a city court seeking the overall status of its probe into the case before proceeding with the arguments on the charge.

The applications were filed by Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Meeran Haider, and Athar Khan before Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Amitabh Rawat in the Karkardooma Court. Appearing for Delhi Police, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad argued that each application failed to disclose any provision in the law that could justify their prayers, terming them as “frivolous,” “speculative,” and “presumptive”.

He further submitted that the student leaders’ plea was filed on the day when arguments on the charge were to begin. “It was at 1:45 pm when two accused opposed the hearing. They waited for a good 40 days. They made sure to wait till the time the prosecution opens the case,” he argued, saying the applications are an ‘effort to derail the trial.’

One of the applicants, Tanha, sought direction from the police to give a timeline about when the probe is likely to be completed, besides stating on record prior to advancing arguments on the charge that the investigation regarding him was complete.

The counsel appearing for co-accused Safoora Zargar and Sharjeel Imam submitted before that they would be adopting the submissions made by Tanha. The counsel representing co-accused Meeran Haider, however, said that he would file a separate application seeking similar relief.

Riots broken out in the national capital in February 2020 as clashes between the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and pro-CAA protesters took a violent turn. The mayhem saw more than 50 people lose their lives besides leaving over 700 injured.

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