JCC members’ incitement caused Delhi riots: Police
A city court heard the bail application of Safoora Zargar, the 20-week-pregnant Jamia Millia Islamia student, and Jamia Co-ordination Committee(JCC) member on Saturday and posted the matter for further hearing on June 4. Meanwhile, it granted interim bail to co-accused Ishrat Jahan for 10 days (June 10-19) on the grounds that her marriage is scheduled on June 12.
The Delhi police special cell on Saturday told the court that members of JCC incited people at different protest sites, created blockades and caused the riots in north east Delhi earlier this year. The special cell, which is the anti-terrorist unit of the force, registered a case to probe if the riots were part of a larger conspiracy.
Thus far, two members of JCC have been arrested in the case. The riots, between February 24-26, left at least 53 people dead.
The JCC is a group of former and current students of the university that came together to coordinate the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests outside the varsity. A JCC member, who wished not to be named, told HT, “JCC’s idea was to resist the fascist law combination of CAA/NRC/NPR. Road blockade is a way of protesting all over the world...We have reiterated that JCC believes in the constitution and democratic ways of social transition and right to dissent....Delhi police want to suppress all the resistance against the government... and it’s fascist laws. There has been backlash from the court about the arbitrary nature of the enquiry, and from the public about their revengeful actions.”
During the proceedings, Special Judge Dharmender Rana also sought to know the link between Unlawful Activites Prevention Act (UAPA) under which Zargar and the other accused have been arrested and the road blockades: “What is the connecting link between UAPA and road blocks. UAPA cannot be invoked for blocking roads. Show me the link.”
The police said that the idea was to frustrate the people, paralyse the government and orchestrate riots. “It is not just about Safoora Zargar. She is a part of the chain... People sitting in various sites were asked to move and block the roads...,” the police said. The police said that the intent was to create blockades such as the one at Shaheen Bagh, and cause riots thereby giving a wrong impression during the visit of US President Donald Trump.
At Shaheen Bagh, locals were protesting since December 15, 2019, against the CAA and NRC. They were evicted on March 25 this year in view of the lockdown as well as prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 CrPC.
Opposing Zargar’s bail application, public prosecutor Irfan Ahmed, said she visited Chand Bagh (where many incidents of violence were reported) and delivered a provocative speech.
Meanwhile, Natasha Narwal, arrested member of Pinjra Tod, was produced before a special judge. The matter was heard in the evening; the order is yet to be uploaded. Devangana Kalita, another accused, was sent to three day police custody in connection with the FIR filed in the Daryaganj violence case.