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Delhi Riots| Religious Places Were Purposely Chosen As Protest Sites & Given Secular Names: Prosecution Opposes Umar Khalid's Bail Plea

Nupur Thapliyal & Akshita Saxena
24 Jan 2022 3:02 PM GMT
Delhi Riots| Religious Places Were Purposely Chosen As Protest Sites & Given Secular Names: Prosecution Opposes Umar Khalids Bail Plea
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Opposing Umar Khalid's bail in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case, the prosecution on Monday told a Delhi Court that the 2020 sit-in protests were carefully planned, picking strategic protest sites closer to 25 mosques. SPP Amit Prasad submitted that these sites were places with religious significance but were purposely given Secular names to give legitimate appearance to the...

Opposing Umar Khalid's bail in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case, the prosecution on Monday told a Delhi Court that the 2020 sit-in protests were carefully planned, picking strategic protest sites closer to 25 mosques.

SPP Amit Prasad submitted that these sites were places with religious significance but were purposely given Secular names to give legitimate appearance to the allegedly communal protests.

"Shreeram colony protest site was Noorani Masjid protest. Sadar Bazar's protest site was Shahi Idgaah. Shastri Park's protest site was Wahid Jama Masjid. Gandhi Park protest site was Jamila Masjid," Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad said while giving illustrations.

He referred to a December 20, 2019 meeting which was attended by Umar Khalid with Harsh Mander, members of United Against Hate, Swatantra Nagrik Sangathan, etc. He averred that this meeting was key in deciding the areas of protest and strategies to mitigate police clashes by keeping women at the forefront.

Demonstrating the meticulous planning behind each of these protests, dismissing them as organic, he argued that the plan also included collecting funds for protests, legal teams for detainees, sending speakers/ artists to different protest sites.

He claimed to demonstrate that the static presence and monitoring control of people at each of these protest sites will negate the narrative that it was an organic reaction of women.

The timeline he presented referred to the circulation of a news article and a WhatsApp message preceding the registration of the FIR. He refers that post-violence people were added to the group, and then after FIR was registered, the group was dismantled.

He demonstrates three phases: (a) when FIR was registered, it wasn't registered in thin air, (b) post-violence people were added in the close group, and (c) after FIR, the group got dismantled. He submitted that participating in a protest is not the problem rather, the organization of the protest in a particular format becomes problematic.

"You get people; you get fund from various places including abroad, you develop idea of disruptive chakka jam for promoting enmity...between different religious groups, you target police and govt properties, you then want to increase number of sit-in protest pan India" SPP Prasad added while referring to the agenda of the protestors.

SPP Prasad referred to the charge sheet to aver that the hidden element is PFI, Jamat e Islamia Hind, SIO, and MSJ are present in the Jamia Coordination Committee, the group responsible for committing violent acts.

As a part of showing their violent agendas, SPP Prasad refers to the 13-20 December, 2019 phase as the first, followed by North East Delhi riots. He states that 10 cases were registered in the riots, which caused extensive property damage, injuring 100 police officers and 41 public members.

He times the second phase in February 2020, he stated that the hotspots, modus operandi, and targeting of police personnel have remained the same. However, the point of difference, he notes, is that Shaheen Bagh and Jamia area were left out, and women were put to the forefront of riots, to make it 'look like a rightful dissent in 2020'.

He also signals that having learned from the first phase, in the second one, carefully North East Delhi was selected, owing to its unique geo-economic conditions, Muslim population, and the ease of mass-scale mobilization and violence. Referring to the roles of Pinjra Tod members and Sharjeel Imam, he demonstrated their alignment to one another.

He then established the connection between Tahir Hussain, Khalid Saifi, and Umar Khalid. He mentions that Tahir, a local leader, had a mass presence and would fund the rioting. On January 23, Umar Khalid met the members of Pinjra Tod to 'gear up for riots and stock pile weapons.' He referred to the parallel incident of Sharjeel Imam giving a speech in Bihar, calling it a mobilization plan and not a mere co-incident.

On the previous hearing date, he had argued that Khalid wanted to create a perception by referring to the web series 'Family Man' and movie 'Trial of Chicago 7' and had nothing to argue on the merits of the case.

Also Read: 'Produce Umar Khalid Without Handcuffs Or Fetters': Delhi Court Directs Jail Authorities In 2016 JNU Sedition Case

The matter will be heard on January 28 at 11.30 AM.

Compiled by Shrutika Pandey

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