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‘Attempts made to discredit police probe in Delhi riots’: More than 400 eminent citizens issue statement after Prashant Bhushan alleges criminal conspiracy in the probe

In a press conference on Wednesday, Prashant Bhushan had alleged that the Delhi riots case by the police was a criminal conspiracy to protect the perpetrators and frame innocents

A day after activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan alleged ‘criminal conspiracy’ in the ongoing Delhi police investigation, more than 400 eminent citizens have issued a statement saying that attempts have been made to discredit the Delhi Police to derail the probe. The statement signed by teachers from JNU and Delhi University, authors, lawyers, demands that the investigation in the conspiracy to execute riots must be investigated thoroughly irrespective of the social economic religious or political standing of the person.

The statement states that the signatories are anguished to note that a number of persons are casting doubts on the police probe in the Delhi riots case. “We are writing to register our dissent, resist and oppose any kind of pressure and needless interference in the working of law enforcement agencies”, the statement adds.

The full text of the statement is given below.

We are a group of concerned nationalist citizens of India who have been keenly watching the developments in the cases related to Delhi Riots 2020 which occurred in February this year. We are anguished to note that a number of persons, including those who have served the in law enforcement in senior capacities in the past are now working to cast a doubt on the Police probe in the cases related to Delhi Riots 2020. We are writing to register our dissent, resist and oppose any kind of pressure and needless interference in the working of law enforcement agencies.

We submit that the dangerous attempts to discredit the Police probe in the Delhi Riots 2020 can be understood in the following ways:

1. Such attempts are being made by ideological pressure groups which a small section of persons who have served the Police and law enforcement in the past have aligned with possibly due to political and ideological reasons.

2. Such discrediting of the Police probe is being carried out in a section of the media which has clear ideological affiliations.

3. Statutory bodies like the Delhi Minorities Commission and clearly biased international bodies like the Amnesty International are now picking up on this narrative and further trying to build an opinion against the probe by the Delhi Police. They have also implicated the Delhi Police in the riots itself!!

In this regard the Delhi Police has already given detailed explanations in the past regarding the falsity of the narrative being floated against the probe. We as responsible citizens want to highlight the following:

1. The attempts to discredit the Delhi Police by implicating them in the Delhi Riots 2020 as well as discrediting their probe is clearly inspired by an attempt to build a narrative that the Delhi Riots were a Muslim pogrom which by definition is State led violence against minorities.

2. There is ample evidence that rather than being responsible for organizing the Delhi Riots 2020, the Delhi Police was in fact at the receiving end of violence by rioting mobs of agitated minority women and men that were prepared in advance with large caches of dangerous ammunition. Information regarding the death of policemen and law enforcement officers by gunshot and violent stabbing and large number of injured men in uniform is there in the public domain. Who can forget the image of Shahrukh Pathan pulling the gun on a lathi carrying police jawan. This certainly is not evidence of a pogrom organized by the State.

3. There is also ample evidence that both communities have suffered loss of life and property in the violence stemming from anti-CAA protest sites. The anti CAA protests witnessed stone-pelting, launching of petrol bombs, torching of school buses, attacking the police, doing violence and causing disturbance in residential areas as also injuring and killing the people. Radicalisation of women and children continued in these protest sites wherein inflammatory speeches were given and communal slogans were raised. Finally the blocking of metro station and roads in North-East Delhi led to a bloody attack on residents and riots in North East Delhi. Who can forget that one of the earliest images of the Delhi Riots was that of a 19 year old Hindu boy who was attacked in his own shop in the area ,with a drilling machine and had it embedded in the back of his head. Some of the early victims of the Delhi Riots were Vinod Kumar Kashyap and Dinesh Khatik who were Dalits.

4. It is very disturbing that ex- Police officials are now seeking to join the ideological chorus of those who have a clearly stated an anti-State and anti-national agenda and executed it during the Delhi Riots 2020. This amounts to pressure on the law enforcement by questioning the independence and commitment of a force that they have headed at one time.

We as citizens of this country including professors, writers’ authors, lawyers, and academicians urge that the Constitution of India mandates that rule of law must prevail. The investigation in the conspiracy to execute riots must be investigated thoroughly irrespective of the social economic religious or political standing of the person. No one should escape the long arm of law just because some so called esteemed citizens are involved or some ex- officers of the force are casting aspersions on their own cadre. The Article 14 of the Constitution of India guarantees that every person is equal in the eyes of law. Article 19 ensures that life and liberty can be taken away only by the due process of law. Thus let the law prevail and let the people of Delhi get justice.

It may be noted that in a press conference on Wednesday, Prashant Bhushan had alleged that the Delhi riots case by the police was a criminal conspiracy to protect the perpetrators and frame innocents.  He had alleged that Delhi police probe was framing innocent people who were protesting peacefully against an ‘unconstitutional’ law.

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