On April 3, the Uttar Pradesh police submitted a 5000-page charge sheet against Kerala-based ‘journalist’ Siddique Kappan and 7 other PFI members for conspiring to create communal tension in Hathras. He was arrested by the UP Police on October 5 while he was proceeding to cover the Hathras case.
As per reports, the charge sheet was filed before the Additional District Judge’s Court in Mathura. Besides Siddique Kappan, radical Islamist outfit PFI members Masood Ahmed, Rauf Sharif, Ansad Badruddin, Atiq-ur- Rahman, and Firoz Khan were also booked by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF). The last date for filing the charge sheet was Sunday (April 4).
There have been several explosive revelations made in the charge sheet filed by STF against Kappan and the 7 PFI members in the Hathras case. In the charge sheet, it has been revealed that Siddiqui Kappan and the others from PFI had made elaborate plans to stoke riots on the lines of religion and caste in the country during the Hathras riots.
Conspiracy to create riots and violence in several places
According to the charge sheet, while Siddiqui Kappan was planning the riots, it was PFI’s Rauf Sherif who was seeking the funds for the logistics of the riots. It was also revealed that members of radical Islamist outfit PFI received funds amounting to Rs 80 lakh from financial institutions based out of Muscat and Doha for spreading disharmony.
It is pertinent to note that Rauf Sherif was arrested on the 12th of December (2020) by the Enforcement Directorate. In a case of money laundering, the ED had suspected that Rs 2 crore was transferred to Rauf Sherif’s bank account from Oman and Qatar. Siddique Kappan also transferred funds to the bank account of Atiq-ur-Rehman. Mohammed Alam was driving the car bought in the name of Masud. He took an active part in a conspiracy hatched by Sherif.
The UP STF also said in the charge sheet that Ansad Badruddin, a commander of PFI’s Kerala unit, along with his partner Feroz Khan toured the country. During their visits, they taught PFI members how to make explosives, use knives and operate guns.
Interestingly, two others who have been charge-sheeted, Anshad Badruddin and Firoz Khan were arrested by the STF from Lucknow on February 15 while Danish is under arrest in Delhi for his alleged role in the 2020 riots.
During the arrest of Badruddin and Firoz Khan, the STF had also recovered a huge stash of explosives, weapons and incriminating documents were found.
Public prosecutor Shiv Ram Singh said that Alam’s brother-in-law Danish has also been named in the conspiracy case. Danish is in the custody of the Delhi Police for his alleged role in riots in northeast Delhi in January 2020.
The STF also said that incriminating evidence was recovered from the laptops and mobile phones of the accused. The charge sheet further says that 6 smartphones, 1 laptop, 1717 printed paper bunches were recovered from the accused on 5th October 2020 when Atiq-ur Rahman, Alam, Siddiqui Kappan, Masood were caught in the Swift Desire car. In printed papers, slogans were found to incite violence. Besides this, the ‘Justice for Hathras’ website was also used in spreading communal violence and the STF has found evidence of a terrorist organisation behind the entire plan.
Riots accused linked with PFI and deployed in different cities
The charge sheet states the four arrested persons on the way to Hathras, Kappan, Atiq-ur Rahman, Masood and Alam were sent from Mathura to create caste and religion-based violence. Apart from these 4, PFI was the organisation behind other persons accused in riot and violence cases in other cities. Some of them are Sarvar Ali, Muneer and Sajish in Kairana, Mufti Shahzad, Ahmad Parvez and Akram from Ghaziabad, Farman and Noor Hasan in Hapur, one Nasiruddin in Bijnor, and Mohammad Danish, Sajid Bin Saeed, and Mohammad Ilyas n Delhi. All of them have been found with links with PFI.
PFI’s secret workshop
WhatsApp chats and digital data from Kappan’s mobile phone, location data and Rauf Sharif’s statements have revealed that all the above mentioned persons had participated in a secret workshop organised by PFI where they were tasked with organising riots in designated areas. The explosives seized from Lucknow also point towards a conspiracy for large-scale riots and violence across several locations. Provocative speeches of SIMI terrorists were also found from the laptops. The workshop was reportedly planned by PFI’s Kamal KP in September 2020.
Kappan’s chats with several PFI leaders reveal that they were planning to organise large-scale violence by exploiting Dalit and tribals. Data from the laptop has also revealed that Kappan was writing provocatory articles instigating people on religious lines.
Hathras and Delhi riots
PFI funding and involvement has also been found in the Delhi riots case. It has been revealed that several former members of the banned organisation SIMI are linked with PFI and Rehab Foundation. Arrested accused Rauf Sharif had been paying the rest of PFI’s Shaheen Bagh office since the last five years from money collected in India and abroad. One of the arrested accused Danish is the PFI leader from Trilokpuri who was also among the accused in Delhi Riots case in 2020.
The charge sheet was submitted in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Anil Kumar Pandey in Mathura court. All the 7 accused have been lodged in Mathura jail.