The Delhi Police special cell, probing the alleged conspiracy angle behind the February violence, has got an extension for the investigation as well as the judicial custody of the 10 accused. On August 13, Karkardooma court judge Amitabh Rawat had granted the special cell time till September 17 to file the chargesheet in connection with a first information report in which the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act has been invoked among other charges.

Among the 10 accused are former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain, Pinjra Tod members Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, and former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan. While the judicial custody of most of the accused have been extended till almost December, that of accused Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan ends on September 17.

This is the second time the Delhi Police have got an extension to file the chargesheet. Earlier it was given time till August 14 to submit the chargesheet.

“After perusing the present application-cum-report of the Ld. Special Public Prosecutor and the case diary and record, I am satisfied that the prosecution has been able to make out a case for extension of the period of investigation and detention of accused persons,” read the court order. The order reads, “Accordingly, the present application-cum-report under Section 43 (D) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 seeking extension of period of investigation and also extension of period of detention of the accused persons till 17.09.2020, filed by the Special Public Prosecutor Sh Amit Prasad, is allowed.”

The violence and the investigation

Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the new citizenship law and those opposing it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst in Delhi since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

In multiple chargesheets filed in June, the police had claimed the violence in Delhi was a result of a conspiracy to defame the Narendra Modi-led government. They alleged that people who had organised protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act were the conspirators. However, the police have failed to produce video evidence so far.

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