Hindu WhatsApp Group Incited Communal Enmity During Delhi Riots, Says Chargesheet

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Mazar vandalized in Delhi riots

According to the charge-sheet, Whatsapp group members used anti-Muslim slurs and talked about vandalising madrasas, mosques, and killing of Muslims

 Clarion India

 NEW DELHI – A WhatsApp group called ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’, created during the February Northeast Delhi riots, promoted enmity between different groups on the ground of religion which led to the escalation of violence that left 53 people dead and some 300 maimed.

This information was provided to a Delhi court by the police in their supplementary charge-sheet against nine persons accused of killing a Muslim man, reports The Indian Express.

According to the charge-sheet which quoted excerpts of the chat, one of the Kattar Hindu Ekta members claimed that RSS members had come to support them. In the chat extract, the police affixed messages of a user, Binni, from February 25 at 8.01 pm, which read: “Bhai RSS ke log aa gaye hai yahan support mein (Brother, RSS people have come here in support).”

The supplementary charge-sheet was filed on September 26 before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam in connection with an FIR registered at Gokulpuri police station on February 27 related to the murder of Hashim Ali, a resident of Mustafabad..

Hashim Ali is one of at least nine Muslim men waylaid and murdered by the Hindu rioters near Bhagirathi Vihar over three days.

While the charge-sheet deals specifically with the murder of Hashim Ali, the police say the members targeted others and “killed nine innocent Muslim persons, including Hashim Ali and his brother Aamir Khan,” reports Maktoob, an independent media initiative based in Delhi and Kerala.

According to the charge-sheet, Whatsapp group members used anti-Muslim slurs and talked about vandalising madrasas, mosques, and killing of Muslims.

“We will burn everything of theirs (Muslims) like we burned the madrasa today” and “Do not leave them (Muslims), kill them” are some of the messages sent by the group members, according to the charge-sheet.

“As per the chat of WhatsApp group, the accused persons… conspired to teach Muslims a lesson for attacking the Hindus. Equipped themselves with lathis, dandas, sticks, swords, firearms, etc. and killed nine innocent Muslim persons, including Hashim Ali and his brother Aamir Khan. It is prima facie revealed that there was a well-hatched conspiracy amongst the accused persons,” chargesheet reads.

The nine men accused of murder and rioting currently in judicial custody are, Lokesh Solanki (19), Pankaj Sharma (31), Ankit Chaudary (23), Prince (22), Jatin Sharma (19), Himanshu Thakur (19), Vivek Panchal (20), Rishab Chaudary (20) and Sumit Chaudhary (23), says the Express report.

The charge-sheet also says that the WhatsApp group was allegedly created on February 25 to seek revenge against the Muslim community.

According to the report, the WhatsApp messages of the group also mention the name of BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who had addressed a pro-CAA gathering near the Maujpur traffic signal with the DCP (North East) Ved Prakash Surya standing next to him a day before the riots broke out.

Mishra had told DCP Surya that they would wait and leave peacefully till US President (Donald Trump) was in India but after that “won’t listen to you (police) if the roads (occupied by Shaheen   Bagh protesters) are not vacated.”

On 23 February, Amir and Hashim Ali went to meet their ailing grandmother in Bhopura, Ghaziabad, 8 km from where they lived in Northeast Delhi’s Old Mustafabad. As the situation turned tense in Old Mustafabad after Hindu mobs unleashed anti-Muslim violence, the brothers stayed on there. On 26 February, their father Babu Khan, a tailor, asked them to return as the situation had apparently become normal. reports Maktoob.

After Babu Khan’s call, though, the family did not hear anything from the two brothers. When they tried to call them, their phone was switched off. They went to the Dayalpuri police station on 27 February.

“The policemen started showing us photographs of bodies that had been found in the drain that morning. We identified our Aamir and Hashim,” a family member told Maktoob.

The bodies were pulled out from a ditch; one brother had been stabbed, while the other had head injuries from a blunt object.

The Delhi communal violence has been sparked by the incendiary comments made by Mishra about Muslims peacefully protesting against the ‘anti-Muslim and unconstitutional’ citizenship law.

While no action has been taken so far against Mishra and other BJP politicians, scores of Muslim activists and peaceful protesters have been rounded up by the Delhi police.

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