'Key conspirators' arranged buses, manpower to execute pan-Delhi protest: police in chargesheet
The exact exchanges in this communication are being ascertained and are under investigation.” It added that Athar Khan, “the key convener of this meeting, had received an important telephonic call from filmmaker Rahul Roy on February 23 at 12:18 hrs – at the same time when the final movements of 300 odd female protestors from Jahangir Puri who were to later precipitate the violence at Jafrabad was being coordinated between Tabrez, Jahanvi Mittal and Rahul Roy.” The police has given call details to show how the “conspiracy” was executed oo February 22 and 23.PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 22-09-2020 00:11 IST | Created: 21-09-2020 23:51 IST
The "key conspirators" arranged buses, manpower including around 300 women, and logistics to execute "pan-Delhi protests" against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Delhi police has said in its chargesheet filed recently against 15 people. The accused persons decided in a meeting held at Chand Bagh on the midnight of February 16-17 to execute these protests "in North-East, Shahdara, South Districts, with the areas of Chand Bagh and Jafrabad as the initial hotspots", the agency said.
Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between supporters of the citizenship law and those protesting against it spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. "A secret conspiratorial meeting of the midnight of February 16-17 at Chand Bagh was held. It was on this date that the key conspirators made up their mind that the final show down of the pan Delhi protests will be executed in North-East, Shahdara, South Districts with the areas of Chand Bagh and Jafrabad as the initial hotspots," it said. The document said "there was a clear and cogent understanding between the key characters who attended this meeting that the protest sites, currently located in side lanes in Muslim dominated areas would need to be shifted and converted into 'chakka jaam' on carefully chosen sites located on arterial/busy roads in proximity to mixed population areas to paralyze the normal movement of traffic and flow of life and engineer riots".
"The 'chakka jaam' would be followed by confrontation and attack on policemen and public persons, damage, and destruction of public property by use of arson and other means in these so engineered riots," it said. The police have mentioned names of various persons who attended the meeting and were later reportedly arrested in various cases related to the riots, including the death of head constable Ratan Lal. Besides, it said that "an important bridge between the conspirators who were physically present in the meeting and the top masterminds under whose watch and guidance this meeting had taken place was Nadeem Khan of United Against Hate (UAH) and DPSG (Delhi Protest Support Group).
"It is on record that one Rashid had texted Nadeem Khan at 02:36 am, while the meeting was in progress. The exact exchanges in this communication are being ascertained and are under investigation." It added that Athar Khan, "the key convener of this meeting, had received an important telephonic call from filmmaker Rahul Roy on February 23 at 12:18 hrs – at the same time when the final movements of 300 odd female protestors from Jahangir Puri who were to later precipitate the violence at Jafrabad was being coordinated between Tabrez, Jahanvi Mittal and Rahul Roy." The police has given call details to show how the "conspiracy" was executed oo February 22 and 23. "On February 22 at 20:30 hrs, Janhavi Mittal made a call to Kusum Tabrez, wife of Tabrez. This was immediately followed by three long calls made out to Rahul Roy, the who was in his Gurugram apartment. "After getting a complete download about the manpower and capabilities of the Jahangir Puri protestors, Rahul Roy called back Janhavi Mittal and they spoke for about 20 minutes to set the stage for what was to happen on the February 23," it said.
The chargesheet added that on February 23, "at 08:41 hrs, Tabrez called up Janhavi Mittal, gave an assessment of the manpower and logistics available with him". "Janhavi directed him to make a move towards Shaheen Bagh protest site. It is important to understand the motive for which about 300 female protestors from Jahangir Puri were dispatched to Shaheen Bagh and not directly to North East Delhi where the planned riots were to take place later in the day. "By the time, Tabrez, commandeering 6 buses and 1 truck reached Mori Gate at 13:03 hrs; Janhavi called him up and told him that from Shaheen Bagh, he should take these persons to Jafrabad. Before this, at 10:30 hrs i.e. about the time when Tabrez was arranging buses and loading protestors in the same, Janhavi had called up Rahul Roy and they had firmed up the plans over a call which lasted for more than 15 minutes. "After reaching Shaheen Bagh, where there was nothing to be done, Tabrez, as ordered started travelling at about 16:30 hrs towards Jafrabad reaching there after about another 1 hour and 15 minutes and covering a distance of 22 kilometers with 6 buses and 1 truck under his watch," it said.
It further added that on February 23, "at about 18:44 hrs, Rahul Roy received a telephonic confirmation from Devangana Kalita of Pinjra Tod about the arrival of women folk from Jahangir Puri. Rahul Roy was in his house at Gurugram." "Ladies, numbering approximately 300 had precipitated in violence at Jafrabad area by clashing with police personnel and pro-CAA protestors," it said, adding that an FIR was lodged in this regard at Jafrabad police station. It further added, "After lighting the initial spark, these ladies were sent back to Jahangir Puri and their success story was shared by Devangana Kalita in a telephonic call she made to Rahul Roy at 23:08 hrs".
"The expenses incurred by Tabrez in hiring the seven vehicles were paid to him upon arrival at '66-Foota-road' by Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal (members of Pinjra Tod). The movement of buses and women is also corroborated by the statements of vehicle drivers and their mobile phone details," it said. Those named in the chargesheet are ex-AP councillor Taahir Hussain, Mohd Parvez Ahmed, Mohd Illyas, Saifi Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Miran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shahdab Ahmed, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohd Saleem Khan and Athar Khan.
Special Cell of Delhi Police told the court that it has relied upon CD-R and WhatsApp chats. In its chargesheet, the police has listed 747 witnesses and of them 51 have recorded their statements under CrPC 164 (before the magistrate).
The final report has been filed under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act. The police has given a chronology of the alleged conspiracy and relevant events in its over 17,000-page charge sheet.