Jahangirpuri violence chargesheet: easy access to arms, riot pre-planned in group meetings

Police identify three ‘main conspirators’ for radicalising juveniles, instigating riots in the Jahangirpuri violence case

July 19, 2022 01:43 am | Updated 02:03 pm IST - New Delhi:

Swords and pistols were readily available in most houses in Jahangirpuri, an officer said.

Swords and pistols were readily available in most houses in Jahangirpuri, an officer said. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The Jahangirpuri violence was planned at “social gatherings” and carried out with the help of arms that were easily available at the houses of local residents, according to the chargesheet filed by the Delhi police.

The 2,063-page chargesheet states that the “main conspirators” — Mohd. Ansar, 35, Tabrez, 40 and Ishrafil, 50 — “controlled and coordinated the pre-planned conspiracy to orchestrate the riot” and also exerted influence over juveniles by “radicalising” them to take part in the violence.

Communal violence occurred between members of the Hindu and Muslim communities on April 16 during a ‘Shobha Yatra’ taken out in the area on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. The scuffle escalated into incidents of stone-pelting and vandalism.

A total of 37 persons have been arrested in the case and IPC Sections pertaining to arson, rioting and criminal conspiracy have been added by the Delhi Police Crime Branch in the chargesheet, which has been filed before a Rohini court.

‘Violence pre-planned’

A senior police officer requesting anonymity, while citing the chargesheet, said, “The local residents looked up to the three main accused. They used to radicalise the residents through successive meetings held days before the riots broke out. The violence was not a spontaneous act but a gradual process; its planning used to take place under the garb of regular public meetings between small groups. They (main accused) used to control the small economy of Jahangirpuri, which mostly consists of butcher and scrap shops”.

The officer added that the police have obtained and analysed videos where juveniles can be seen holding arms. “One of the two juveniles apprehended by us, a Muslim, was involved in firing at a police officer. He allegedly disclosed that he was influenced by Ansar and others to fight in the riots for their community and against the injustice done to Muslims,” he said.

WhatsApp chats

According to the officer, WhatsApp conversations of several groups, consisting of not more than six members, spoke of how “it was time for the residents of Jahangirpuri to take up arms as no one else will be there to save them”.

The persons in the groups also discussed “demolitions of houses of Muslims in U.P. Even the family members of the accused persons and several other people in the locality were aware of the plan to initiate violence,” the source disclosed.

Stocked weapons

Regarding the stocking of weapons, the officer said that swords and pistols were readily available in most houses in Jahangirpuri. “The accused didn’t source the weapons from outside as they already had them stocked inside houses; it’s a crime-prone area and many with criminal backgrounds live there who possess weapons,” he added.

Asked if the Jahangirpuri violence had any links with the CAA-NRC movement, the officer said as of now, the police have only been able to find out that the accused used to arrange vehicles and send people to protest against CAA-NRC at the Shaheen Bagh protest site.

“They used the CAA-NRC movement and the Ram Navami violence earlier this year as issues to provoke the residents and bring them to streets,” the officer further disclosed.

Pre-defined route

Another source privy to the investigation said during the third Hanuman Jayanti procession, when the violence broke out, the Hindu group had taken the pre-defined route taken every year.

“The third procession took place on the route decided beforehand but the Muslim side used it as an excuse to start riots, following which the Hindu side retaliated,” the source said. “It has also been revealed that while the women residents didn’t play an active role in the violence, they were kept in the loop regarding the conspiracy”.

A supplementary chargesheet in the case will further probe the separate involvement of eight other accused, who are currently absconding.

“We are trying to recover the deleted data from the mobile phones of the accused persons and are waiting for the forensic reports. Scanning through those conversations will help trace other intentions and motives and help nab the other accused involved... We are also trying to identify other suspects by corroborating CCTV and forensic image scanning,” the source said.

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