In plea to Supreme Court, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad blames BJP’s Kapil Mishra for Delhi clashes

Updated on Feb 25, 2020 11:27 AM IST

Azad also sought security for women protesting at Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi, which has come to national limelight.

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Tuesday made a fresh application in the Supreme Court over violence in Northeast Delhi, seeking direction to register FIRs on complaints made in respect of attacks that started in the evening of February 23. The court has agreed to hear his petition.

Seven people, including a Delhi Police head constable, were killed on Monday as people for and against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA clashed in Jafrabad and Maujpur in Northeast Delhi.

Azad has alleged in his petition that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra was responsible for inciting and orchestrating the violence.

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He has also sought security for women protesting at Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi, which has come to national limelight. The anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh has been going on for 80 days.

Protests have been going on in Northeast Delhi since Saturday night, but tension spiralled after Mishra demanded that the police remove the protesters within three days. “We will wait till [US President Donald] Trump is here [in Delhi]. But after that, we won’t even listen to you [the police] if the roads aren’t cleared. We are appealing you [police] to clear Jafrabad and Chand Bagh till Trump leaves. If not, we’ll have to take to the streets,” Mishra said in a video.

And after Monday’s violence, Mishra appealed for peace. “I appeal to everyone to stop violence as it will not lead to any solution. Whether it is people who are supporting CAA or those who are against it, I appeal everyone to maintain peace. Delhi’s brotherhood should remain intact.”

The Bhim Army chief had written to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday, expressing concern over the safety of people.

“I am extremely concerned for the safety and security of people belonging to Muslim and Scheduled Caste community in many parts of North East Delhi and wish to visit the areas affected by violence. You are requested to kindly direct Delhi Police to provide adequate security for the visit,” Azad said in his letter.

Azad had filed an affidavit in the apex court over Shaheen Bagh protest on Monday. He filed application along with former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and social activist Syed Bahadur Abbas Naqvi.

The application says that the protest is peaceful and inconvenience being caused to commuters is due to barricades “unnecessarily” put by police on roads far away from the site.

Habibullah, in his affidavit, has stated that the protesters have asked him to convey to the apex court that their dissent “was out of desperation and compulsion” as they see the CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) as a “death knell” for their and future generations’ survival and existence.

The Supreme Court had earlier said that though people have a fundamental right to protest “peacefully and lawfully”, it was troubled by the blocking of a public road at Shaheen Bagh as it might lead to a “chaotic situation”. It appointed two senior lawyers as interlocutors to talk to the protesters and convice them to move their protest to an alternate site. The interocutors submitted their reports to the court on Monday after holding talks with Shaheen Bagh protesters.

Restrictions have been imposed on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and the Okhla underpass, which were closed on December 15 last year due to protests against CAA and NRC.

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