2 Feb 2022 1:08 PM GMT
Opposing the bail pleas of several accused in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case, the prosecution on Wednesday told a Delhi Court that the protest sites were inorganically raised without the involvement of locals. Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad attributed the role of the members of the DPSG Group in inciting violence, deflecting the CCTV cameras and erasing evidence.Prasad was...
Opposing the bail pleas of several accused in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case, the prosecution on Wednesday told a Delhi Court that the protest sites were inorganically raised without the involvement of locals.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad attributed the role of the members of the DPSG Group in inciting violence, deflecting the CCTV cameras and erasing evidence.
Prasad was opposing the bail pleas of Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Khalid Saifi, Meera Haider, Salim Malik, Shahab Ahmed, and Saleem Khan.
The matter is being heard by Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.
Messages of the DPSG Group Spoke of 'Violence':
SPP Prasad referred to the statement made by one witness, Johnny, before the Magistrate to demonstrate what transpired on the night of 16th and 17th February 2020. He also connected it to the meeting of January 23, 2020. Johnny is said to have witnessed what happened in the meeting and who all attended it.
He alleged that the 16th and 17th February meeting was in no manner connected to conducting a protest. He alleged that the meeting had discussions over the collection of acid, which indicates that their purpose was to create violence.
He also referred to some messages circulated on the DPSG group of 16th and 17th February by one Owais Sultan Khan, who used "your proposal to incite violence." He submitted that local people have evidence who have come in support of the prosecution's case.
He argued that he was reading not from the prosecution's charge sheet but the accused's documents, making references to the chat.
Protests were raised inorganically without the support of locals
He also submitted that amongst the 23 protest sites spread across Delhi, riots broke out in this specific area. Denying the involvement of local people, he claimed that there is an identical pattern.
Referring to it as a 'conspiracy of silence,' he informed the Court that there are a total of 34 messages between the 18th to 21st. Still, as soon as the violence began, there was absolute silence in the group, limiting the interaction to sharing messages and forwards.
He read another chat after the blockade on the 22nd, which spoke about confrontation being the second stage. He then said that confrontation, blocking roads, was not the end; it was the beginning to take the large confrontation scale.
He alleged that the peaceful was not peaceful, as it involved lathi, dande, and laal mirch.
In a specific attribution to Umar Khalid, he quotes his statement, where Khalid says - "khoon banana padega, aise nahi chalega." Referring to the statement, SPP Prasad rhetorically asked that if Khalid was not shedding his blood, then whose blood was he referring to?
He says that the DPSG group tried to deflect their involvement by putting it on the Bhim Army call or calling Kapil Mishra's statement provocative. Meanwhile, in one of the group messages, the members had mentioned that Bhim Army doesn't even have the strength of a platoon.
Busting the theory of it being on the call of Bhim Army, SPP Prasad referred to a relevant question from the court where it asks the difference between dharna, protest, and destructive chakka jam. He then alleged that there are various ways to carry out a legitimate protest other than resorting to violence.
He said that a chakka jam stops the wheels, but when it blocks 5-6 points, the entire area goes into paralysis.
SPP Prasad said that the local women were not present; rather, 250-300 women were imported from Jahangirpuri for mass mobilization after blocking Jafrabad area. Mentioning the involvement of Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, Prasad alleged that the protest sites were raised inorganically without the support of the locals.
Referring to the messages of February 24, he showed that the only person who had been vocal about violence- Owais Sultan Khan left the group.
Lathis, Dandas, Disconnection of CCTV Cameras: SPP Prasad
Prasad also referred to CCTV footage from the protest site to show visuals of one peaceful protest where people were holding flags and another 'peaceful protest' with people carrying swords and dandas. He also alleged that the cameras were diverted and subsequently disconnected to ensure no evidence remains. He also submitted that 2 out of 3 cameras were dislocated; the third one was not tampered with as there was no movement in the lane.
He added that before attacking the police party, the cameras were first covered, then dislocated, and then disconnected. He also mentioned that the video footage available can be related to the messages of the DPSG group. He emphasized that even the High Court has noted that the violence was not spontaneous.
He also referred to the calls between Umar Khalid, who was sitting in Samastipur, to Natasha, Jhanvi, Nadeem Khan, Meeran Haider, Saba Deewan, Rahul Roy, and Tabrez. Referring to call records and location details, he showed that everyone was coming together at Sanchar Bhawan.
He showed the contradiction in theories between alleging the absence of police and the lathi charge by police. He referred to this as 'narrative building' where first they blocked roads, paralyzed the system, didn't let the ambulances pass, and then cry over police inaction, the need for ambulances and need for a Peace Committee.
Prasad said that as soon as the first arrest was made, there was a message circulated to delete the group, clear the chat and reconvene on Signal. He alleged that if there is no conspiracy and the intent was merely peaceful, why would they want to delete the chats.
SPP Prasad lastly submitted that the accused persons themselves were trying to create a communal atmosphere. In this regard, he referred to a message circulated by Harsh Mander, asking for the presence of 50 "non-Muslim young people" at every protest site.
The hearing will continue tomorrow at 11 am.
SPP Prasad has concluded his arguments on the charge of Conspiracy. Tomorrow, he will commence arguments on the individual role of the seven applicants. Thereafter, the Court will hear rebuttal arguments.
Read previous reports from the hearing here:
Delhi Riots| Religious Places Were Purposely Chosen As Protest Sites & Given Secular Names: Prosecution Opposes Umar Khalid's Bail Plea
Delhi Riots | Protests Were Inorganic, Meticulously Planned; Local People Used As Fodder: Prosecution Opposes Umar Khalid's Bail
Delhi Riots A 'Conspiracy Of Silence', Idea Was To Completely Put System Under Paralysis: Prosecution Argues In Bail Hearing
Compiled by Shrutika Pandey