Police identify incidents that ‘led’ to north-east Delhi riots

Chargesheet mentions anti-CAA protests near JMI, speeches by Harsh Mander and Sharjeel Imam

Published - June 04, 2020 12:01 am IST - NEW DELHI

Students protesting against the CAA and the NRC at Jamia Millia Islamia on January 30, 2020.

Students protesting against the CAA and the NRC at Jamia Millia Islamia on January 30, 2020.

In the chargesheet submitted in the IB staffer Ankit Sharma murder case, the police have also mentioned the chronology of events that led to the riots in north-east Delhi in February this year.

A total of 52 persons died in the communal violence and 434 people were injured out of which around 100 sustained gunshot injuries. A total of 783 cases had been registered in connection with the riots.

The chargesheet opens with details of violence near Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13 last year. Without obtaining any permission, 2,000 people, including students and local residents, gathered near the JMI metro station with the intention to march towards Parliament, it reads. When the police cordoned off the protesters at gate number 1 of JMI by putting up barricades, the protesters became violent and started pelting stones at the police, which resulted in injuries to over 15 personnel.

The document then mentions incidents of violence around New Friends Colony on December 15 when some current and former JMI students, and people having allegiance to political parties as well as their supports, assembled at JMI to protest the newly enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens. They planned to march to Parliament and President House. The mob kept switching roads when prevented from moving and indulged in stone pelting, states the chargesheet.

JMI campus violence

The police then mentions that later in the night, on December 16, the mob retreated strategically inside JMI campus and used the premises as a cover and started pelting stones. The mob positioned itself to ambush the riot control unit. The police were able to control the situation by temporarily apprehending 52 people under Section 65 of the Delhi Police Act. A total of 97 public persons, 35 police officials were injured; three police booths were also damaged, stated the document.

The chargesheet mentions that the students, alumni, teachers and Jamia locals formed the Jamia Coordination Committee to keep the anti-CAA protest alive. From December 16, the protesters blocked one carriageway in front of Gate No. 7 of JMI.

“The committee called JNU student Sharjeel Imam, who visited the site and provoked protesters on December 14 to block all cities in north India until CAA/NRC are rolled back... after that riots broke out in New Friends Colony and Jamia Nagar. Harsh Mander visited the site on December 16 and told protesters to not have faith in the Supreme Court and to fight their battle on the roads to get justice.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad visited the site on December 22 and instigated protesters to remain on the road till CAA/NRC/NPR were rolled back... some of the speakers gave hate speeches,” the police stated in the chargesheet.

The report also mentioned the Shaheen Bagh protest, and stated that protesters had been blocking the area since December 15. Protesters were not allowing any commuter or vehicle to ply the road, thus causing inconvenience to more than a lakh commuters daily, the police submitted.

“After these incidents, people from other areas of Delhi — in a calculated and orchestrated way — replicated the same method of protest i.e. by blocking main roads.

On December 17, a mob pelted stones at police personnel in Jafrabad, damaging property and injuring policemen. Since January 15, protesters illegally encroached seven places in North-East District under the guise of staging protests.

The illegal occupation of the areas for protest and continued presence on streets drew large gatherings, especially during the evening, and caused incalculable inconvenience to commuters and residents, and created extremely tense and polarised atmosphere in the area,” the police stated in the chargesheet.

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