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Delhi Riots: ‘Stop Brazen Criminalisation of Peaceful Protests’

CPI(M), whose General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has been named in a supplementary chargesheet in a Delhi riot case, and Prof Apoorvanand came out with statements on Sunday condemning the “brazen” act by the Delhi Police.
Delhi Riots Sitaram yechury and others

Following the reported inclusion of several social activists and as co-conspirators in the supplementary chargesheet of a Delhi riots case, the Polit bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has condemned the “brazen” criminalisation of peaceful protests in a statement released on Sunday.

The Delhi Police has named CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand in a supplementary charge sheet in the February riots cases, accusing them of “provoking and mobilising” anti-CAA protesters, according to reports. Apoorvanand, too, in a statement today called this development a “discrediting exercise” to target the anti-CAA protesters. 

The statement by the CPI(M) said, “The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is shocked by the brazenness with which the Delhi Police, acting under Home Minister, Amit Shah has tried to implicate prominent political leadership, academics, cultural personalities and activists in connection with the horrific communal violence in North East Delhi in February. No condemnation is strong enough for this act of crude partisanship and vengeance.”

“The names of these eminent personalities have emerged in the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Delhi police for FIR 50/20 in connection with the alleged role they played in motivating anti-CAA-NRC protesters. This is in line with the growing pattern of the most blatant abuse of the Police and other central agencies like CBI, NIA, ED to frame prominent opponents and demonise them. The pattern includes slapping of provisions of draconian NSA, UAPA and Sedition Act to harass and incarcerate   those who vigorously oppose such blatant misuse of powers by the government contrary to that as ordained by the Constitution,” read the statement. 

The party also accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of scripting their own narrative of the organised communal violence to portray Delhi riots as a “deep-rooted conspiracy” by anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters.

Asking the Delhi police to stop criminalising the anti-CAA protesters who were part of a “perfectly legitimate act of citizenship”, Apooravanand said, “The supplementary CS does not improve upon the legal case, but only seems to be furthering the political agenda of discrediting the protestors, and uses all our names as part of the discrediting exercise. Their act of having planned a protest is being treated as a conspiracy to violence, in which me, along with others, are projected as having abetted that cause, without any basis in law or facts.

We are still waiting for the Delhi police to start an investigation to find out the truth behind the actual act of the February violence.”

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