A court in Delhi has directed the police to submit a report on a petition seeking a first information report against Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra for his role in inciting communal violence in the Capital in February last year, Live Law reported on Monday.
The petition had been filed by human rights activist Harsh Mander. He had also sought action against Mishra’s party colleagues Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for allegedly making provocative speeches. The matter had also been heard by the Delhi High Court.
“Since the matter has already once gone to the High Court, this court [Patiala House Court] deems it appropriate to call a report from the concerned DCP [deputy commissioner of police],” Metropolitan Magistrate Himanshu Raman Singh said in an order on January 29, according to Hindustan Times. The case will now be heard on March 9.
In his petition filed before the Patiala House Court, Mander said that Mishra’s hate speech resulted in the loss of lives, but that the police had failed to file an FIR against him on multiple occasions, The Indian Express reported. “The statements made by the accused were naked attempts meant to drum up anti-Muslim sentiment and unduly influence during the Delhi elections,” Mander added.
The human rights activist had said that the FIR against Mishra should be registered under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) of the Indian Penal Code.
Clashes had broken out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and 26, 2020 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 Delhi saw since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
On February 23 last year, Mishra had given the police an ultimatum to clear the sit-in protest site in Jafrabad area. He threatened violence in case the police failed to do so. His speech raised tensions in the area and led to clashes.
Meanwhile, Thakur, in the run-up to the Delhi elections in February, had exhorted a crowd at a rally to shout “shoot the traitors”. Verma, on the other hand, had told an audience that the “lakhs of protestors” at Shaheen Bagh would enter their homes to “rape their sisters and daughters and kill them”. Multiple videos were taken of all three incidents.
However, in an affidavit filed before the High Court in July last year, the Delhi Police said that “no actionable evidence” had been found yet to link the BJP leaders to the violence.