As a sessions court in Delhi took cognizance of offences of sedition, promoting enmity between groups against the 18 accused in the Delhi riots conspiracy case, Delhi Police pointed to the role of news portals as they claimed such publications misled people through their reporting.
The Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad submitted before the court that the accused were also running ‘narratives’ in some media outlets about the police investigation.
Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Safoora Zargar, Gulshima Fathima, Umar Khalid, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Khalid Saifi, Tasleem Ahmed, Sharjeel Imam, Ishrat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Tahir Hussain etc are among the 18 accused in the riots conspiracy case.
Delhi Police had registered an FIR against them under UAPA alleging that the anti-CAA protests organized by them were a conspiracy to create communal riots.
Earlier in August 2020, Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha who was arrested in May for his role in the Delhi riots during interrogation to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police confessed to instigating people to start riots over CAA in Delhi as he found the law as anti-Muslim. He also confessed to torching buses and laid bare his desire to turn India into an Islamic republic, according to Zee News.
24-year-old Iqbal who is a third-year student of BA in the Persian language is also a member of the 2014 Student Islamist Organization (SIO) and is currently in judicial custody. He revealed that the funding for the movement was received from the radical Islamist organisation, PFI.
In a shocking revelation, Iqbal pointed out that Umar Khalid asked him to hold ‘Chakka Jam’ (roadblock) during Trump’s visit in February to India. He further revealed that Khalid’s plan was executed with the help of Miran Haider, a PhD student of Jamia, and Jamia coordination committee media coordinator Safoora Zargar took part in anti-CAA protests and blocked roads.
“Asif is a key member of the Jamia Coordination Committee and played an active role in organising protests and riots in Jamia in December 2019. He is a close associate of Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar who had been key organisers of the anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots,” said Delhi Police.
Iqbal has also admitted that he delivered several provocative speeches that were delivered in different parts of India including Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Indore to name a few to urge the Muslims to protest against the Indian government and resort to violence, if needed.
Things are moving towards a logical conclusion in the Delhi riots case and it must be ensured that the perpetrators are punished severely.