Opposing his bail plea before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad contested the claims of former JNU student leader Umar Khalid that the investigating agency was communal and the charge sheet in the riots conspiracy case was a “figment of imagination”.
It is worth to be noted that, Delhi police have booked Khalid and several others under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a stringent anti-terror law, and are accused of being the "masterminds" of the riots which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured in 2020. The arguments on their bail pleas have been going on for more than five months.
Representing the police, SSP further said, “The ultimate objective was to overthrow the government and undermine the authority of the parliament, which enacted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act CAA and destabilize the very foundation of the democracy. The idea was to bring the government of India on its knees and enforce the withdrawal of CAA. It is not that I am making the statement. This is evident from the chats which clearly state that government has to be brought to its knees.”
Prasad further relied on the charge sheet to claim that the 2020 riots were not a spontaneous outburst of violence. “From the charge sheet, we have demonstrated that 23 protest sites were created and those sites were not organic. They were meticulously planned with the location which was in close proximity to the masjids (Mosques),” he said.
“Multiple teams were formed to monitor these sites, give logistic supports, there were remote supervisors, local leaders, people who were visiting. We have also demonstrated the use of identical placards and banners at different protest sites which clearly shows that they were not organic and created in a coordinated manner,” he added.
Prasad also pointed out that the protests were not woman-dominated, rather they were managed by menfolk, and protest sites were swelled by bringing in women from the outside. “We have also demonstrated from the charge sheet that there was a clear interrelation between December 2019 riots and February 2020 one. A similar pattern of crime was followed blocking of roads attacking police, destructing properties, and violence with public and police,” he said.
The charge sheet disclosed that 53 people died, he said, adding that 101 police officers and 41 public persons were injured in the first phase of riots in December 2019. In the second phase, 132 police officers and 76 public persons were injured. “There was a case of death and injuries to persons. Total damage and claim settlement amount to Rs 21.93 crore. 61 claims have been settled and more are yet to be settled,” the SPP said.
He also underlined that the investigation in the case revealed that firearms, petrol bombs, acid attacks, sticks, iron rods, stone-pelting through pre-fabricated large-sized slingshots were used to attack and kill police personnel, government employees, and public persons. added.