Civil Society Demands Release of Khalid Saifi, Other Anti-CAA Activists Held in Delhi Riots Cases

Civil Society members address press conference in Delhi

Prashant Bushan launches scathing attack on Delhi Police, says court should punish guilty police officers with life imprisonment

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI–Civil Society activists have reiterated their demand for release of anti-CAA activists who are in jail in Delhi riots conspiracy case under the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act.

The activists and family members of some of the incarcerated activists Friday held a press conference at the Press Club of India to mark one year of incarceration of Khalid Saifi, anti-CAA activist and United Against Hate Founder.

Speaking at the press conference, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan launched a scathing attack on the Delhi Police for its “biased” investigation in last year’s riots calling the behaviour of police as “shameless” and “dishonest”.

“The people who did rioting are roaming free and those who raised voice for the rights of others have been implicated in false cases and put behind bars,” Bhushan alleged.

Naming BJP leader Kapil Mishra for his alleged role in inciting the riots, Bhushan said the police did not file a case against him despite clear evidence.

Quoting the 1950 judgement of a former judge of Allahabad High Court, justice A N Mulla, that “UP Police is the largest organized criminal gang in the country,”  Bhushan said: same can be said about Delhi Police.

“The police are behaving like goons, be it how they dealt with anti-CAA protesters or those protesting against the new farm laws,” Bhushan said.

Citing the example of WhatsApp group of civil society members who were supporting “peaceful” anti-CAA protests, Bhushan said, it was puzzling how an entire group can be branded “conspirators” behind the riots.

Bhushan said that the Supreme Court or Delhi High Court should have taken suo moto cognizance to investigate Delhi riots.  “It is evident like the day light that Delhi Police conducted biased investigations in the riots and implicated innocent people in false cases. The court should have constituted an independent special investigations team to probe the riots.”

He also slammed the role of investigation agencies like NIA and ED and called them Kathputli, puppets, in the hands of the BJP run central government.

Speaking about the allegation of police torture of activist Khalid Saifi, labor activists Nodeep Kaur and Shiv Kumar, Bhushan said, the court should investigate the torture claims and punish the guilty police officers with life imprisonment. “This would set a precedent and only then the police would behave and stop torture. Otherwise the police know there is no risk to them and commit such acts with a sense of impunity,” Bhushan said, It is the right and also duty of the courts to intervene in such cases.

Nodeep’s sister Rajveer Kaur also spoke at the presser. She said that the arrest of her sister and shiv Kumar and the other activists show labels may be different but the “pattern is same” in all these arrests. “The goons who commit violence roam free but victims are arrested.” She alleged that in her sister’s case the private army of the industrialist opened fire on protesting labourers but the “police instead filed a case against Nodeep for demanding wages”.

She said that once Nodeep is released from jail she will join the protest movement again.

She urged the people to unite and raise their voice against the arrest of activists. “We should not wait for the global personalities to Tweet to raise voice for people.”

Senior journalist and Caravan magazine editor Hartosh Singh Bal criticized the role of mainstream media in covering the riots saying that they sided with the government. “The media has not bowed down but is standing shoulder to shoulder with the government peddling its propaganda,” Bal said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here