Tahir Hussain admits to planning north-east Delhi riots: Police report

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Updated on Aug 04, 2020 06:34 AM IST
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New Delhi: Former municipal councillor Tahir Hussain has told the police that he had met student leader Umar Khalid at Popular Front of India (PFI) office in southeast Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on January 8 to plan the riots in north-east Delhi, according to the interrogation reports submitted to the court by the Delhi police as part of the several charge sheets against Hussain.

Hussain’s confession was recorded by police after his arrest in March this year in connection with the murder of Intelligence Bureau officer Ankit Sharma during the communal riots in the Capital in February.

The confession is not an admissible evidence in court because it was made in front of a police officer but it has been attached with the charge sheet against him.

Hussain’s interrogation reports were widely circulated on social media on Sunday and Monday. According to his confession recorded by police, Khalid had assured them of finances from the PFI, Jamia Cordination Committee (JCC), from some political people, and from advocates and Muslim organisations, the interrogation report reads.

Senior police officers refused to comment on the reports, saying the court is already seized of the matter.

Hussain’s lawyer Javed Ali said the police are manipulating facts. “Tahir Hussain has not admitted to anything with regard to Delhi riots cases. The reality is he is a victim and has been falsely implicated. Moreover, as far as confessional statement is concerned, it is settled law that statement made by a person to the police before he is accused of any offence is irrelevant. The Indian Evidence Act clearly says that such a statement does not come within the definition of evidence. Only a confession before the magistrate under section 164 of CrPC is admissible in the eyes of law and Tahir Hussain has never given any such statement,” he said.

According to the report, Hussain told the police that soon after he was elected municipal councillor from Ward 59 in Nehru Vihar in 2017, Khalid Saifi, founder of ‘United Against Hate’, told him that he should use his influence and money against the Hindus and for the betterment of Muslims. Saifi has also been arrested in a case related to the riots.

According to the police report, Saifi introduced Hussain to Khalid. Saifi told them that when US President Donald Trump would be in India, they should do something that will force the Indian government withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Everyone was given different tasks. “While Saifi had to gather mob on he streets, I was asked to collect glass bottles, acid and petrol,” Hussain told the interrogators, as per the report.

Harsh Bora, Khalid Saifi’s counsel rubbished the allegations.“Interrogation reports are not evidence in the eyes of the law. The police have made many such false allegations against Khalid Saifi in the past but have repeatedly failed to substantiate even a single one with any evidence whatsoever,” Bora said.

On Saturday, Delhi police had questioned Umar Khalid in connection with an alleged conspiracy behind the February violence in northeast Delhi. Khalid was earlier also booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly giving provocative speeches at different places and appealing to the people to come out on the streets and block roads during Trump’s visit.

Khalid’s counsel Trideep Pais said, “Khalid has already clarified publicly that he has never met Tahir Hussain. He also has said he has never been to PFI office and that he was not even interrogated about this by the Delhi police in his first and only interrogation on July 31.”

When contacted, Anis Ahmed, general secretary, Popular Front of India said, the reports alleging Popular Front link to the violence in north-east Delhi are “another attempt by the fascist forces and agencies controlled by them to defame their organisation”.

“Popular Front cannot be intimidated by such ridiculous attempts. The allegation is a copy of the lie propagated by fascist forces through their sponsored reports to malign Muslims who are the real victims of the Delhi pogrom. As we have earlier stated the Delhi Police itself has become an obstacle in the path of providing justice to the real victims of the pogrom. We would reiterate our demand for an independent enquiry headed by a sitting High Court or Supreme Court judge into the Delhi violence, including the behaviour of Delhi Police during the riots and in probing the riots,” he said.

Reacting to Hussain’s alleged disclosure, a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee said it is a baseless allegation.

“Jamia Coordination Committee has never coordinated with Khalid Saifi or Tahir Hussain. Police are randomly creating connections and statements(confession) without any evidence to prove fabricated allegations. It will not stand before the court,” the JCC said.

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