Delhi

DU prof. Apoorvanand quizzed in Delhi riots case; phone seized

Professor Apoorvanand at Delhi University.

Professor Apoorvanand at Delhi University.   | Photo Credit: Meeta Ahlawat

Police have questioned Delhi University Professor Apoorvanand on Monday in connection with communal riots that broke out in the Capital in February. His mobile phone has also been seized. A senior police officer confirmed the development.

In a statement shared online, Mr. Apoorvanand said that he was asked by Special Cell to appear for questioning in connection with FIR number 59. He was questioned for five hours after which police seized his phone. “While cooperating and respecting the right of police authorities to conduct a full, fair and thorough investigation, one can only hope that the probe would focus on the real instigators and perpetrators of the violence against a peaceful citizens’ protest and the people of north-east Delhi,” he said.

In the statement, he also said that he hopes the investigation doesn’t lead to “harassment and victimisation” of protesters and their supporters who “asserted their democratic rights through constitutional means” while stating their dissent against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). The professor said that it is disturbing for him to see that supporters of the anti-CAA protests are being considered the source of violence.

Rioting and conspiracy

Mr. Apoorvanand has been questioned in FIR number 59, the same FIR in which Jamia Coordination Committee media coordinator Safoora Zargar, PhD student Meeran Haider, and an MBA graduate Gulfisha Fatima have been accused of rioting, conspiracy and under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and arrested.

The FIR was registered on March 6 based on a complaint by Sub Inspector Arvind Kumar posted in Crime Branch. Former JNU student Umar Khalid and one Danish are named accused in the document.

‘Pre-planned’

The FIR stated that Mr. Kumar was told by an informer that the riots which broke out in Delhi on February 23-25 were pre-planned as part of a conspiracy. He alleged that the riots were planned by Mr. Khalid and his associates, who are members of different organisations. He claimed that Mr. Khalid gave inflammatory speeches at different locations and instigated people to flock streets and block roads, leading to chaos and subsequently riots.

“For the purpose of arranging for people to indulge in violence during the riots, one Danish, a resident of Bhajanpura, was given the responsibility,” the FIR stated. It added that because of the same reason, children from minority community studying in different schools were taken home by their parents earlier than usual. “If this conspiracy is investigated deeply, then one can find the rioters as well as instigators involved,” he stated in his complaint.

The case was transferred to Special Cell for further investigation.

Mr. Apoorvanand, on May 30, authored a column for a web portal The Wire in which he wrote: ‘A conspiracy is being hatched in Delhi: to create the story of a conspiracy’. The fiction Delhi Police would like us to believe is that there was a conspiracy behind the violence in the north-east part of Delhi in the last days of February – a conspiracy involving those who, in any manner, had participated in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.”

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 11:55:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/du-prof-apoorvanand-quizzed-in-delhi-riots-case-phone-seized/article32271963.ece

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