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'Conspirators' masked anti-CAA stir with 'secular facade': Delhi cops

September 22, 2020 23:44 IST

The 'key conspirators' in a case related to the communal violence in north east Delhi in February, had worked towards the creation of a WhatsApp group to mask the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act with a 'secular facade' providing mass based and more acceptable civil society participation, police have alleged in the charge sheet.

 

The chargesheet in which 15 persons have been named as being part of a 'premeditated conspiracy' in the north east Delhi riots, said the tone and nature of the communication of the members of Jamia Co-ordination Committee (JCC) changed from the evening of February 24 and they started talking about relief, rehabilitation and care of the victims while 'simultaneously unleashing concerted disinformation campaign blaming the state, police and the ruling political party for the loss of lives and property caused by their terrorist and unlawful act'.

'The conspirators, by their ingenuity and criminality of thoughts, presented an entirely new dimension to the meaning of 'hate speech'- theirs was covered in the sugar coat of nationalism which hid the sour and sordid truth that it was in fact a well thought out attempt at igniting and reinforcing a pan Islamic identity' alleged the charge sheet filed in a court here on September 16.

'By keeping the target audience confused at times against CAA, at times against so called fascism, at times in solidarity with Dalits and marginalised sections, the conspirators had something for everyone who was looking up to their intellectual corpus in the belief that they represented a bona fide political alternative in the vibrant Indian democratic palette,' it further alleged.

'Therefore, in pursuance and furtherance of common conspiracy and with a clear mind to mask these protests with the secular facade, providing mass based and more acceptable civil society participation and also to exploit women and children as a shield while facing the police, the key conspirators worked towards the creation of a group which eventually came to be known as Delhi Protest Support Group (DPSG),' it alleged.

It stated that to begin action on the lessons learnt from the December 2019 protests and violence, the first tangible step that was taken by the conspirators was the formation of Jamia Awareness Campaign Team (JACT), which was constituted on the directions given by former JNU student leader Umar Khalid and Nadeem Khan to Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha and Saif-Ul Islam.

'Side by side, the contours of the umbrella body to synergise the efforts of conspiratorial constituents also emerged which later came to be known as Delhi Protest Support Group (DPSG),' it alleged.

Police further alleged that the purpose of JACT was to spread disinformation and instigate the Muslims of Muslim majority areas about CAA and NRC and to induce their women folk and children besides men too join the protests on road against CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

'It was basically meant to lay ground work for creating 24x7 sit-in protest sites in those very Muslim majority areas where earlier riots between December 13-20, 2019 had failed,' the chargesheet claimed.

The experience of the key conspirators from half baked success and failures over the past two weeks made the conspirators realise that in order to achieve their true objectives, there was need for a secular cover, gender cover and media cover.

The precursor riots spread between December 13 and December 21 in the areas of Shahdara, north east, south east and central Delhi could not generate nationwide traction primarily because public faces of the protest were identified with a community and the police had little difficulty in controlling the situation.

Police further claimed that a dissent was reflected in the conduct of the members of DPSG and JCC and an important member of the DPSG had openly threatened to expose the alleged terrorist acts.

The charge sheet alleged that 'disenchanted and disconcerted with the scale and magnitude of the violence unleashed by the key conspirators, a few members of the DPSG WhatsApp group threatened to expose each and every culprits of DPSG group who were responsible for these riots'.

'Alarmed and panicked by these whistle blowing posts, the last of which was posted on February 24 at 4.19 pm, a chain reaction followed,' the chargesheet claimed.

It also said that the 'key conspirators' had decided to deploy the ultimate 'guerrilla strategy' of blaming the law enforcement for the carnage.

'The cumulative effect of the conversations (between members of DPSG) was that the conspirators, panicked by the behaviour of few of their group members, decided to deploy the ultimate guerrilla strategy of blaming the law enforcement for the carnage that had resulted in the pursuance of their conspiracy,' the charge sheet alleged.

The charge sheet stated that the members were directed to delete incriminating chats and migrate to Signal app to disappear evidence.

'Facebook posts and WhatsApp chats establish the facts that JNU student Sharjeel Imam had never separated himself from the protest and the exit strategy from Shaheen Bagh was also an act in pursuance and furtherance of common conspiracy.

'In so much so that he continued propagating the model of disruptive 'Chakka Jaam' which was tutored to him by his mentor Umar Khalid until before his arrest,' it claimed.

It further said that Jamia Co-ordination Committee (JCC), the first WhatsApp group created by Jamia student Safoora Zargar, was left dormant on January 24 and operational communication shifted to fresh chat groups as two of the members (Tanha and Chandan Kumar) were called by the investigating agencies in connection with violence on December 15 last year.

'Safoora Zargar removed Tanha and Chandan from WhatsApp group Jamia Millia Islamia Co-ordination Committee to mask the traces, since they were summoned by the police,' it alleged.

Police have also attached a screenshot of a WhatsApp chat of Imam with one Afreen Fatima on Jan 9, which showed that Imam called for blockade of roads and create 'Chakka Jaam' by replicating the Hong Kong model.

In 2019, violent pro-democracy, anti-government protests rocked Hong Kong and the protests had begun as peaceful mass marches which later became violent.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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