The Delhi Police chargesheet filed at Karkardooma court last week makes a mention of two “secret meetings” wherein the alleged conspiracy behind the Northeast Delhi riots was hatched.
As per the chargesheet, to back its claim that these meetings took place, police have affixed two pictures of the first meeting that they retrieved from the Facebook account of a participant, while the second was corroborated by “reverse mapping” documents related to the murder of head constable Ratan Lal and Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma. The chargesheet states that during the second meeting, 20 people allegedly sat in a huddle at the Chand Bagh protest site for a “brainstorming session” which later “became the genesis of several heinous and brutal murders”.
As per the chargesheet, the first secret meeting allegedly took place on the night of January 23-24 at New Seelampur and was attended by former JNU student Umar Khalid, Pinjra Tod members Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, Jamia student Gulfisha and others.
The chargesheet claims Khalid directed that the “protest should ultimately escalate to riots and should result in spilling of bloods of policemen and others” as this was “the only possible means” to force the “Government to withdraw CAA/NRC”. The chargesheet claims that Khalid directed participants to “induce local women of Seelampur to start stockpiling knives, acids… to be used in rioting”.
Police have attached two photographs retrieved from Facebook featuring Khalid, Gulfisha and some others. Narwal or Kalita do not feature in these photographs. Police also claim to have relied on the statements of six protected witnesses and the mobile phone details of the accused persons.
As per the chargesheet, the second secret meeting allegedly took place on the night of February 16-17 at Chand Bagh, where “Pinjra Tod had assumed direct responsibility in the execution of carnage”. Police have made these claims on the basis of section 164 CrPC statements of protected witnesses.
The chargesheet states that documents pertaining to the deaths of Lal, Rahul Solanki and others were “reverse mapped” with technical and oral evidence on record to ascertain that the alleged conspirators attended a “secret meeting at Chand Bagh protest site… to escalate confrontation and violence once the first sparks will be ignited by the masterminds”.
“In the dead of the night at about 2 am of February 17, about 20 persons sat in a huddle at Chand Bagh protest site to plan future course of action… labeled as a ‘Brainstorming Session’ on a WhatsApp group by Athar after one of the attendees of this meeting revolted against the insistence that violence will have to be done, this meeting nonetheless, crystallized the actions which later played out,” the chargesheet alleges.
Police stated that “key characters” who participated in this meeting came to a “clear and cogent understanding” that protest sites in Muslim dominated areas will have to be converted into chakka jams to “engineer riots”.
Police have named Mohd Ayub, Shadab Ahmad, Mohd Saleem Khan and Ibrahim, who were arrested for the murder of head constable Lal, as participants in this meeting. Ahmad, police claimed, was in regular touch with Kalita. Gulfisha has also been named as a participant.
Mohd Mustaqueem, arrested for the murder of Solanki, is alleged to be in close contact with one participant, Rashid, who tasked him “to kill a non-Muslim”, the chargesheet states.
Police also claim the weapons used to kill Solanki were provided by Tahir, while the cartridges were provided by Suleman Siddique, one of the participants of this meeting.
Police claim that Athar, the key convenor of this meeting, received a call from filmmaker Rahul Roy on February 23, when there was a movement of “300-odd female protesters from Jahangirpuri who were to later precipitate violence at Jafrabad”.
“The contours of premeditated action cannot be discerned with any greater clarity than this, conspiracy always has been shrouded in the grey hallows of mystery,” the chargesheet states.
When contacted, Tahir’s lawyer Rizwan said, “In the IB staffer murder case chargesheet, a Shaheen Bagh meeting was mentioned, which did not match with with timeline. To cover up their lacunae, they have now brought a Chand Bagh meeting in this chargesheet.”
Gulfisha’s lawyer Mehmood Pracha said, “Police have got no evidence so they filed a lengthy chargesheet by concocting false narratives with protected witnesses and ghost informers.”
Roy as well as the lawyers of Khalid, Kalita and Narwal refused to comment on the allegations.
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