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No evidence so far to link speeches to riots: Police to HC

The averments were made by the Delhi Police in a common preliminary affidavit filed in response to a batch of PILs before the High Court.

Written by Pritam Pal Singh | New Delhi | July 14, 2020 2:06:11 am
northeast delhi riots, delhi riots, delhi clashes, delhi news, city news, indian express At Shiv Vihar, among the worst-hit areas in Delhi riots. (File Photo)

The Delhi Police Monday informed the Delhi High Court that “during the investigations conducted so far” in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots, “no actionable evidence has surfaced yet indicating any role being played by” any prominent political leader in “instigating and/or participating in the riots”. Police also told the court that “no involvement of any police officials has been found” in rioting so far.

The averments were made by the Delhi Police in a common preliminary affidavit filed in response to a batch of PILs before the High Court. The PILs have sought registration of FIRs against leaders from the BJP, Congress and AAP, including BJP’s Kapil Mishra, who had given an ultimatum to police to clear anti-CAA protesters from Jafrabad a day before riots broke out. The PILs have accused several leaders of delivering hate speeches.

The police affidavit stated: “In case, during investigation, the role of aforesaid persons in commissioning of the offences in the respective FIRs would surface, then Delhi Police would be duty bound to take statutory steps as mandated under the law against the aforesaid persons… However, no fresh FIR is warranted at this stage.”

The affidavit stated that the speeches “are being examined by the Delhi Police and necessary action in this regard will be taken in due course of time if it is found on evidence that their speech has any nexus with the riots”.

“In case any evidence is found linking the alleged offensive speech with commissioning of crime during riots, appropriate FIRs would be filed immediately or the said persons would be arraigned as an accused,” it said.

On the prayer made in one of the PILs to identify police personnel involved in rioting, the affidavit stated that “during the investigation of cases so far, no involvement of any police official has been found in the matter. However, investigation of the cases is in progress and necessary action will be taken, if any such involvement comes on record”.

Police further sought dismissal of the PILs on the ground that the petitioners in the present petition have “not come before this court with clean hands”.

“They have selectively chosen certain speeches and incidents to further their hidden agenda. It is stated that the selective outrage by the petitioners towards specific incidents, while ignoring other abhorrent incidents of violence, itself manifest that the present petitions are not bonafide but motivated,” it added.

Expressing “anguish” over the communal violence in Northeast Delhi, the Delhi High Court had on February 27 questioned the conduct of the Delhi Police and directed it to register FIRs against those who made certain speeches.

It had also played clips of a speech made by Mishra in Maujpur, issuing an ultimatum to Delhi Police to clear the anti-CAA protesters; Anurag Thakur’s election campaign speech where he chanted “Desh ke gaddaron ko” and had the crowd responding “goli maaro…”; BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh’s comment “these people will enter your homes and rape your sisters and daughters”; slogans such as “police ke hatyaaron ko, goli maaro…” raised by a crowd led by BJP MLA Abhay Verma in Laxmi Nagar.

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