As many as 61 other FIRs are being investigated by Crime Branch and 689 FIRs are being probed at the Police Station level
NEW DELHI — The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India’s oldest human rights organisation, has demanded that a bona fide investigation be carried out into the February-end violence in North East Delhi that left 53 people, mostly Muslims, dead and some 400 others bruised and battered.
The independent, voluntary human rights body unaffiliated to any political party on Monday dashed off a letter to the Delhi police commissioner urging him to “urgently stop the motivated and malicious investigation” and also stop filing of charge-sheet on the basis of fabricated evidence and false confessions, particularly in the lone conspiracy case made out in FIR number 59/2020 being probed by the Special cell of the Delhi police.
As many as 61 other FIRs are being investigated by the Crime Branch and 689 FIRs are being probed at the Police Station level. But PUCL is more concerned by FIR 59/2020 registered at the Crime Branch Police station and being investigated by the Special Cell, Delhi police by examining the conspiracy angle of the Delhi riots.
According to PUCL president Ravi Kiran Jain and general secretary Dr V Suresh, the FIR was registered on March 6, 2020, by an officer of the Crime Branch, based solely on ‘information’ by an unnamed informant under very simple sections of the IPC 147/148/149/120B, relating to conspiracy, for unlawful assembly and rioting among others.
“It is matter of great alarm the manner in which Delhi police is trying to beef up an otherwise hollow foundation and has added charges which include 19 IPC Sections – 120 (B) read with 302, 307, 124 (A), 153 A, 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 186, 212, 353, 395, 427, 435, 436, 452, 34 – and sections 3 & 4 of the PDPP Act, sections 25 & 27 of the Arms Act and sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA,” reads the letter. The charge-sheet in this matter is to be filed before September 17, 2020.
The human rights organization appealed to the police chief that a fair and just probe be ensured, all arbitrary arrests be immediately stopped and all those incarcerated be released.
“It is important that there is no travesty of justice in investigation and the truth, with evidence, is presented to the courts. The smallest tribute that can be paid to the numerous lives lost during the NE Delhi violence is to ensure that the true perpetrators are brought to book,” hoped the two PUCL leaders.
Pointing out that PUCL’s concerns are also shared by some former police and other government officers, a large number of prominent citizens, the media as well as the Delhi Minorities Commission, the letter elaborates on what it calls the ‘false theory of conspiracy by all those who were part of the movement against CAA’.
Jain and Suresh asserted in the letter that the interrogation of more than 60 people under FIR 59/2020, showed a clear line of investigation — every activity which was part of the peaceful anti-CAA protest was now being made suspect, adding that even a women’s solidarity yatra, wherein a group of women over three days visited a dozen sites, was now suspect.
“Visits to dharna sites to make speeches on the CAA is being looked upon as provocation, discussion on whether a road block should happen or not, which is a strategy used by all protests, is being considered as the gravest criminal offence that could have occurred, more important than the road block itself,” says the letter which also speaks about the “Manufacturing of evidence through custodial interrogations and coerced confessions”, as well as the “shocking nature of biased narrative being presented in several charge-sheets.”
“The smallest tribute that can be paid to the numerous lives lost during the NE Delhi violence is to ensure that the true perpetrators are brought to book. It will also be the biggest demonstration that ultimately it is the rule of law and the Indian Constitution that triumphs in our country,” concludes the PUCL’s letter.