Names CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand figure in a supplementary charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police in the February riots cases, allegedly for "provoking and mobilising" anti-CAA protesters.
Some of those named have also been charged with -- based on the statements of three students already arrested in the case -- asking the protesters to go to "any extreme", spreading "discontent" in the community by calling CAA/NRC anti-Muslim and organising demonstrations to "malign the image of Government of India".
Meanwhile, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand has slammed the Delhi Police charge sheet and said that this is the government's political position which is being parroted in the supplementary charge sheet as a legal offence.
Apoorvanand said that the supplementary charge sheet furthers the political agenda of discrediting the protestors. "We are still waiting for the Delhi police to start an investigation to find out the truth behind the actual act of the February violence. It needs to stop its exercise of criminalising the anti-CAA protests which were a perfectly legitimate act of citizenship," he added.
Here is Apoorvanand's full statement:
It has been brought to my notice that a supplementary Chargesheet filed in connection with FIR 50/2020 has certain disclosure statements by accused in custody, that mention my name, together with that of Rahul Roy, Umar Khalid, Jayati Ghosh, Sitaram Yechuri and Yogendra Yadav. These names are mentioned in uncorroborated statements attributed to accused who are in custody, where it is claimed that they provided support in organising the anti- CAA protests.
The supplementary CS proclaims that the accused persons were continuously poisoning the minds of common people against the CAA/ NRC. This is the government's political position; surprisingly being parroted in the supplementary CS as a legal offence.
Although FIR 50/2020 was registered in connection with the death, from a gunshot injury, of one Amaan, the investigation seems to have focussed on delegitimizing the protests and in trying to make the protestors indirectly responsible for Amaan's death.
While I am not made accused, it is very surprising that the police should even accuse three young women, without any basis, of having murdered a 17-year-old boy, Amaan. It would seem that the accused women are not directly linked to the murder, but the allegation is that they instigated some unknown shooter. The investigation has not revealed who shot at Amaan, but it insists that whoever it was, was instigated by the anti- CAA stance of the accused individuals.
It is also pertinent that on September 1st, the Delhi High Court while hearing a bail application by Devangana Kalita, has categorically held that the police has not been able to give any evidence of any incendiary speech by her. The court also said that the statements of the witnesses were produced belatedly, as an afterthought by the police.
The supplementary CS does not improve upon the legal case, but only seems to be furthering the political agenda of discrediting the protestors, and uses all our names as part of the discrediting exercise. Their act of having planned a protest is being treated as a conspiracy to violence, in which me, along with others, are projected as having abetted that cause, without any basis in law or facts.
We are still waiting for the Delhi police to start an investigation to find out the truth behind the actual act of the February violence. It needs to stop its exercise of criminalising the anti-CAA protests which were a perfectly legitimate act of citizenship.