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Written by: Shikha Singh (Intern)

Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)

What Led to the Riot?

The centre came up with its Citizenship Bill, which in turn steered some massive responses from different parts of the nation. The aforementioned bill claims to grant citizenship to- Hindu, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Christians who took refuge in countries Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in or before December 2014. The protesters in the line found the very act out casting and segregating a few communities which provoked anger in masses. The Citizenship bill was coupled with that of the NRC (National Register of Citizens) which was seen discriminatory in nature. Most of the demonstrations done by protesters were found to be very peaceful except for a handful of them which took a violent and communal turn. The violent acts involve vandalism or even stone-pelting. Earlier the protest which broke out in the campuses of Jamia Milia Islamia also saw some violence where there was a face off of Delhi Police and the protesters leaving several injured. This issue gained many eyeballs both nationally and internationally. The international organization Human Rights Watch broke the silence and asked India to investigate the issue minutely.

What Really Transpired in North-East Delhi?

On 23rd of February, 2020 police were issued an ultimatum to deal with the protesters and convince them to unblock the roads. There were few pro CAA and NRC protests too that took place at that time. After the confrontation with the issue and police, a riot broke out in the city by touching the transport buses and vandalizing everything seen. After this on the following day the security agency visited the area of riot to take cognizance. This was followed by the police reported arrests which took place because of the infodemic and unreasonable content being followed on social media. Police discovered the presence of web-links which matched in link with aggravating the riots.

Measures Taken While Probing the Matter

The probe started soon after with exigency in the matter store within the set up of two major SITs (special investigation team). An overwhelming series of raids and background searches happened by the concerned authorities. The Joint Commissioner of police, Alok Kumar assured that his investigation will be extensive with respect to the involvements. Given the fact that there were many on the list of suspects, the pioneer to investigate was Mohammad Tahir Hussain. When police raided Hussain’s house, they found the presence of bricks, stones, empty petrol bottles etc. The officials tried their level best to find the linear pattern of the events which gave a space for the arrest of several student activists as well even under the– Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) Act No. 37 of 1967. Later in the year the one woman activist Safoora Zargar who was one of the protesters from the group which was arrested in light of anti- CAA riots was given a respite on the medical grounds because she was pregnant. The Delhi Police almost filed more than 750 FIRs in the matter to heed upon.

Current Developments in the Issue: Delhi High Court

The issue of Delhi riots 2020 gained momentum once again to look up the trials and bails where six more people were granted bail by Delhi High Court a few days back as no evidence was available in hand to convict them. The High Court unprecedented granted its first ever jail sentence to the accused in the case of riots extending up to 5 years to a 25 year old Dinesh Yadav who was in the nexus of the northeast Delhi riot. The sentencing took place after conducting a fully fledged trial. Dinesh was charged under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Court (IPC), the sections involved Sections 143, 147, 148, 457, 392, 436 read with sec. 149. Another suspect in the case Sharjeel Imam got booked under the charges covering defamation that incited a red rag to the bull (provoking and inciting) of speeches in the series of CAA protests. The prosecution followed in the case of Umar Khalid’s where the court granted him bail castigated the very decision by making claims that he was making the riot a secular touch.

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