The CPI (M) on Sunday criticised the government over the reference to its leader Sitaram Yechury and some civil society members in a supplementary charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police which cites statements from some accused to say that they mobilised anti-CAA protestors.
"The CPI(M) condemns this obnoxious action by the Delhi Police to further the narrative of its political masters and urges the government to desist from such acts of criminalising peaceful political protests," the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Politburo said in a statement.
The reaction came a day after it was reported that the names of CPI(M) general secretary Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand figure in the supplementary charge sheet in the February riots cases, allegedly for "provoking and mobilising" anti-CAA protesters.
Earlier, Yechury had said the BJP’s top leadership are "scared of legitimate peaceful protests by mainstream political parties and are misusing state power to target the Opposition."
"Delhi Police is under the Centre and Home Ministry. Its illegitimate, illegal actions are a direct outcome of the politics of BJP’s top leadership. They are scared of legitimate peaceful protests by mainstream political parties & are misusing state power to target the Opposition," Yechury said in a series of tweets.
"BJP's illegal intimidation won't stop people from opposing discriminatory laws like CAA. To assert that all Indians are equal irrespective of their religion, caste, colour, creed, region, gender & political affiliations is not only our Right but our Duty. We will exercise it," he said.
"BJP govt is scared of questions, in Parliament, in media & RTI. PM can't hold a press conference or answer RTIs about his private fund or show his degree. They think they can silence political opposition by blatant misuse of state power. We fought Emergency, we’ll defeat this too," he added.
"Hate speech videos by those who instigated violence which led to death of 56 persons in Delhi are on record. The person who led violent mobs in JNU is also on video. The BJP govt& Delhi Police under it, can’t see those because it is hell bent upon destroying our democracy. This is the real chehra, charitra, chaal and chintan of Modi and his BJP," he further said.
Delhi University professor Apoorvanand 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.
Swaraj Abhiyaan leader Yogendra Yadav said that every speech that he ever met is in public domain. "Why doesn't Delhi Police give courts a single line from them?" he asked.
"The nation needs fresh entertainment. So the new serial begins, directed by the BJP, scripted by Delhi Police," he said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police refuted media reports that Yechury and others were arraigned as accused in the supplementary chargesheet filed by it in the case related to the northeast Delhi violence.
A statement by the Delhi Police clarified to say that a report put out by an online news agency that "the names are part of the disclosure statement of one of the accused in connection with organizing and addressing the Anti-CAA protests" was incorrect.
The Delhi Police also took to Twitter to post its rebuttal.
"It is worth mentioning that the disclosure statement has been truthfully recorded as narrated by the accused person. A person is not arraigned as an accused only on the basis of disclosure statement," the statement said.
The Delhi Police further said: "A person is not arraigned as an accused only on the basis of the disclosure statement. However, it is only on the existence of sufficient corroborative evidence does further legal action is taken. The matter is currently subjudice."