New Delhi:Levelling a bizarre allegation, the Delhi Police has claimed that anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protesters held a meeting to trigger a “big blast” ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India even when there was no information whatsoever about the possibility of such a visit in public domain.
The basis for Delhi Police’s conspiracy theory surrounding the communal violence in Northeast Delhi in February this year is an alleged meeting wherein a “big blast” was planned during the visit of United States President Donald Trump. The “meeting” of suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain, former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid and activist Khalid Saifi — according to investigators — took place on January 8 at Shaheen Bagh in Southeast Delhi.
The alleged meeting has found a mention in two charge-sheets filed under FIR No. 65/2020 (registered at Dayalpur police station) and FIR No. 101/2020 (registered at Khajuri Khas police station) — both related to the violence in Chand Bagh area of Northeast Delhi. While the first FIR is related to the murder of Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer Ankit Sharma, the second is related to the violence at Chand Bagh. Tahir is an accused in both the cases.
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“...the riots took place in a planned manner resulted from a well hatched conspiracy. During investigation, it was also revealed that the accused Tahir Hussain was in touch with Khalid Saifi who is connected with Unite Against Hate Group. Tahir Hussain was also connected to Umar Khalid through Khalid Saifi. Khalid Saifi had arranged Tahir’s meeting with Umar Khalid on 08.01.2020 (January 8, 2020) at Saheen Bagh. In that meeting, it was decided to have a big blast so that the Central Govt. could be shaken on the issue of CAA/NRC and so as to defame the country in the international arena. In the meeting, Umar Khalid had assured not to bother about the fund as PFI (Popular Front of India) organization would also be ready to provide fund and logistics for these riots. These riots were planned to be happened during or prior to the visit of US President Donald Trump in the month of February, 2020… (sic),” claimed the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch in the charge-sheet submitted before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Pawan Singh Rajawat at Karkardooma Court in North-East Delhi.
It is strange to note that the conspiracy to carry out the “big blast” was “well-hatched” six days before the first news of Trump’s possible visit to India. The first report about this possible visit came only on January 14. So, the claim that such a “blast” was planned even prior to that rings hollow.
NewsClick went through the charge-sheets, news reports and government’s press releases to understand if there is any truth to the implication that Tahir, Khalid and Umar knew about the US President’s visit on January 8 itself.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Trump on January 7 to convey New Year greetings, but the ministry’s press release does not have any mention of the US President’s visit to India.
There was no information with regard to Trump’s possible visit till January 13. On January 14,The Hindu and Hindustan Times published a source-based report, stating that Trump would be visiting India at the end or second half of February.
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This was followed by several other news reports. But the official announcement came only on February 11 when the Prime Minister’s Office through a press statement confirmed that Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump would be on their first state visit to India from February 24 to 25, 2020.
It further stated that he would attend official engagements in New Delhi and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and interact with a wide cross-section of Indian society.
NewsClick accessed and searched the government's press statements from December 2019 till January 8 to find out if there was any information on the possibility of this visit before January 8 in the public domain, but there was none. In this context, the police’s allegations—which imply that the trio was privy to the US president’s visit much earlier—come into question.
Even if such a “meeting” indeed took place, the police charge-sheet does not clarify how the investigators found out the details of the purported discussion. One could argue that these details were revealed during the interrogation of the arrested accused, but strangely, the charge-sheet fails to mention the basis for these grave allegations.
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Instead, the police vaguely claim that it was revealed during “investigations” and conclude by saying that “a separate case vide FIR No. 59/2020 dated 06.03.2020 (March 6, 2020) for the conspiracy to these riots has been registered by Special Cell and is under investigation”.
There is no official explanation on this glaring loophole in the “investigation”. The Crime Branch sources say the “meeting” was organised on January 8 and it is the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, which is probing into the conspiracy of the Delhi riots, which can give details in this regard.
No official of the Special Cell could be reached for comments.
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