Updated: September 15, 2020 1:22:42 pm
Academics, artists, activists and lawyers Monday condemned Umar Khalid’s arrest and invoking of UAPA against him, even as nine retired IPS officers questioned the Delhi Police’s investigation of the Delhi riots.
“As citizens deeply committed to Constitutional values, we condemn the arrest of Umar Khalid who has been subjected to a malicious investigation targeting peaceful anti-CAA protesters… With deep anguish, we have no doubt in saying that this investigation is not about the violence in the national capital, but on the completely peaceful and democratic protests across the country against the unconstitutional CAA,” read a statement by 36 signatories, including Syeda Hameed, Arundhati Roy, Ramachandra Guha, T M Krishna, Brinda Karat, Jignesh Mevani, P Sainath, Prashant Bhushan and Harsh Mander.
On Sunday, retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, who was former Mumbai police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and Punjab, and former Indian Ambassador to Romania, had written to Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava, questioning the probe into the Northeast Delhi riots cases. On Monday, nine more retired officers wrote an open letter to Shrivastava requesting re-investigation of all riot cases. The signatories of the letter included former Director General National Crime Records Bureau Shafi Alam and former Special Director CBI K Saleem Ali.
“We were sad to note that one of your Special Commissioners had tried to influence investigations claiming resentment among Hindus over the arrest of some rioters belonging to their community. Such a majoritarian attitude in the police leadership leads to a travesty of justice for the victims of violence and their family members belonging to minority communities. This would further mean that the real culprits of the violence belonging to the majority community are likely to go scot free,” read the letter.
“Basing investigations on ‘disclosures’ without concrete evidence violates all principles of fair investigation. While implicating leaders and activists, who expressed their views against CAA, all those who instigated violence and are associated with the ruling party have been let off the hook,” it read.
Delhi Police’s Additional PRO Anil Mittal said that “investigation of all riot cases has been done professionally and meticulously. The matter is subjudice, and any grievances in this regard have to be raised at the appropriate forum. Regarding the letter written by Special CP, mentioned in this letter, the matter has already been adjudicated by the Delhi High Court. Prima facie, nothing wrong was found in issuing directions by senior officers”.
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