West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday criticised the Narendra Modi government after the Delhi Police arrested former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged role in the communal violence that broke out in the city in February, PTI reported.
“I too have seen it [the news of Khalid’s arrest],” she told reporters at the state secretariat. “First they [the Centre] had named Sitaram Yechury in the chargesheet and now they have removed it. But, they have put the names of Yogendra Yadav and others...Those who were in the movements [against National Population Register and National Register of Citizens] have been targeted. This is not right in democracy. If someone has done something wrong and you have evidence of it, then action should be taken as per law.”
Khalid, Yechury, filmmaker Rahul Roy, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav and economist Jayati Ghosh have been named in the disclosure statements of three women accused of playing a key role in the violence. A political row has erupted over this and Opposition leaders have castigated the Delhi Police, which reports to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Without naming the saffron party, the chief minister also said it is not healthy for a democracy if they “think that they are always right and others are wrong”, according to The Indian Express.
Khalid was arrested on Sunday night after nearly 11 hours of questioning in connection with the violence, which left at least 53 dead and hundreds injured. On Monday, a court in Delhi sent him to ten days of police custody. The police had told the court that they wanted to ask him about 11 lakh pages of documents.
Chargesheet in conspiracy case to filed by Thursday, says Delhi police chief
Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava, investigating the alleged conspiracy angle behind the February violence, has said that a chargesheet would be filed by Thursday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha said the violence was a result of a “planned conspiracy” and they have found a common pattern. “When we started investigating the Delhi riots, we first saw all the sites and found a common pattern that traffic jam was started at all the sites simultaneously,” he added. “It was the first indicator that there was a conspiracy due to which it all started.”
The two officers were speaking at a webinar on Monday and claimed the investigation in the case was done in an impartial manner. “As we are approaching towards the final end of investigation, Umar Khalid has also been arrested,” Shrivastava said. “So, there is more and more sort of a cry, especially in the social media and also on the TV channels. They are trying to take away the sheen from the investigation. You know that people whom we are investigating, many [of them] have a very good social media presence.”
The commissioner said out of the 751 cases filed in connection with the violence, 340 have been solved. He said they did not get much information in the remaining cases.
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. This is the second time the Delhi Police got an extension to file the chargesheet. Earlier it was given time till August 14 to submit the chargesheet.
The chargesheet names Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain, Pinjra Tod members Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan, Jamia Millia Islamia student Meeran Haider, among others.