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Friday, June 9, 2023

Anti-Hindu Delhi riots: how the conviction of 9 Islamists was ensured against an ecosystem that works to defeat the state’s case

The anti-Hindu Delhi riots were a well-planned and executed Islamist plan and were taken advantage of by secular Hinduphobic parties such as the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party), Congress, and leftists among others. The conviction of nine persons in the Delhi riots case despite the lack of an ecosystem and after an arduous process provides some justice to the victims and their family members.

The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill was used to incite violence since December 2019. The violence leading up to the anti-Hindu riots was carefully fuelled using misinformation beginning with a Congress politician who labelled PM Modi and HM Amit Shah as illegal immigrants. From Owaisi to Sonia Gandhi, politicians were seen inciting people to hit the streets.

The handmaidens of Hinduphobic political parties were quick to add to the misinformation and propaganda. Encouraged by their support, Islamists organized themselves and enlisted the support of the likes of Yogendra Yadav. Before the full-fledged anti-Hindu Delhi riots, widespread violence against Hindus was reported from across Bharat. Speeches delivered, exhorting Muslims to take to the street, were filled with misinformation, half-truths and outright lies thereby inflaming passions and adding fuel to the fire.

More horror was to follow when the riots broke out on 23 February 2020. Reports of Ankit Sharma’s brutal stabbing, Dilbar Negi being dismembered and burned alive, and Hindu girls being sexually harassed by Muslims among other horror tales came to the fore. However, the narrative of an ‘anti-Muslim pogrom’ was peddled despite Hindus being subjected to violence and hatred since December 2019 culminating in the planned riots of February 2020.

“By the time the cases were to be tried in the court of law, the chips were already stacked against the prosecutors, who were met with the arduous task of not only arguing the chargesheets, tediously put together but also the constant onslaught by the defence lawyers, the judiciary and the global ecosystem – an ecosystem that had created such a mountain of lies that it was a battle just to chip away at it with the truth”, writes Nupur Sharma.

Not surprisingly, Dinesh Yadav was the first to be convicted and handed a five-year jail term even though there was no evidence against him and witnesses constantly changing their statements. The case against him is so flimsy that it’ll definitely be overturned in the high court (HC). However, the conviction gave an opportunity to the Hinduphobes to peddle the fake anti-Muslim pogrom narrative.

To their credit, the special cell did a stupendous work of putting together a 15000-page chargesheet with several hundred pages of supplementary chargesheet that clearly highlight the conspiracy to create violence.

Filing a chargesheet is one thing and arguing on its basis in the court is quite another particularly with witnesses shying away from testifying. It must also be highlighted that the prosecution lawyers are government employees working on a pay-per-day basis. Unlike the ecosystem-backed defence lawyers defending the likes of Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khalid among other accused, it is only their conviction and sense of duty that keeps the public prosecutors going.

“In 2020 itself Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind started securing bail for those Muslims accused in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots and started providing extensive legal help to the accused. They also filed a writ petition in court. From CPIM submitting a fake fact-finding report blaming Hindus to former Judges like Madan Mohan Lokur muddying the water with his ‘Citizens Report’, the ecosystem that works to defeat the State’s case with lies and more lies is endless”, highlighted OpIndia.

Another issue that prosecutors face is a change of guard in police stations as riots cases tend to drag on for years. While newly posted police officers need to get oriented with the case, public prosecutors face the uphill task of collecting necessary information with the help of those who have no knowledge of the cases. With thousands of cases to investigate, the arduous task of continuously working on an elaborate riots case is very daunting, to say the least.

Therefore, the conviction of nine Islamist rioters on March 13 by the Karkardooma court comes as a breath of fresh air considering the cabal the prosecutors were against. While convicting the accused, the court noted that the accused had joined the unruly mob guided by communal feelings with the aim of causing maximum damage to the properties of Hindus.

Mohammad Shahnawaz, Mohammad Shoaib, Shahrukh, Rashid, Azad, Ashraf Ali, Parvez, Mohammad Faisal, Rashid alias Monu and Mohammad Tahir were charged under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 436 (Mischief by fire), 452 (House-trespass with preparation to assault), 454 (Lurking house-trespass), 392 (robbery), 427 (mischief) read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly).

“I find that charges levelled against all the accused persons, in this case, are proven beyond doubt. Hence,  those charged are convicted for offences covered under Sections 147, 148, 380, 427, 436, and 149 of the IPC in addition to Section 188 of the IPC”, noted Justice Pulastya Pramachala who pronounced the accused guilty in the anti-Hindu riots.

“On his (Hussain’s) provocation/instigation, the Muslims turned violent and became volatile on February 24 and 25 and started burning shops and pelting stones and petrol bombs on Hindu community and also targeted their houses situated in that locality. Thereupon, the uncontrolled mob turned into rioters and in process of rioting caught hold of Ankit Sharma and dragged him to Chand Bagh Pulia and caused his death by inflicting multiple injuries using sharp and blunt objects/weapons in a brutal manner and a view to conceal the evidence, all of them in furtherance of their common intention, threw his dead body in the drain”, the court observed.

While this is a good beginning, the case needs to be taken to its logical conclusion and the perpetrators, planners, executors, and funders of the anti-Hindu riots need to be brought to the book.

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