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WhatsApp Group Promoted Enmity, Planned to Vandalise Mosques: Delhi Riots Charge Sheet

File photo of a car burnt during the riots in Northeast Delhi in February 2019.

File photo of a car burnt during the riots in Northeast Delhi in February 2019.

The police further provided chats of the group in the charge sheet, in which the group members allegedly used communal slurs and spoke about defacing madrasas, mosques and killing of Muslims.

The Delhi police, in its supplementary charge sheet filed before a court, said that a WhatsApp group “Kattar Hindu Ekta”, set up during the northeast Delhi riots in February, allegedly furthered enmity between different groups along religious lines and led to a situation that was prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony.

The police further provided chats of the group in the charge sheet, in which the group members allegedly used communal slurs and spoke about defacing madrasas, mosques and killing of Muslims.

According to the chargesheet, the WhatsApp group was allegedly created on February 25 to take revenge from members of the Muslim community. Chat clippings from the group show one of the members alleging that individuals from the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) have come to back them. The police filed the supplementary charge sheet on September 26 before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam Pathak against nine individuals in the case related to the killing of Hashim Ali n in Gokulpuri during the violence.

“As per the chat of Whatsapp group, the accused persons… conspired to teach Muslims a lesson for attacking the Hindus. Equipped themselves with lathis, danda, sticks, swords, firearms etc and killed nine innocent Muslims persons including Hashim Ali and his brother Aamir Khan. It is prima facie revealed that there was a well-hatched conspiracy amongst the accused persons," police said in the charge sheet.

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“Same is also evident from the fact that in order to take revenge from Muslims some youths of that area who failed to perceive the bottomless stupidity of the propaganda, they as saviours of their community created a Whatsapp group. The group members lost their individuality and started working with mob mind. ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’ which are the sacred slogans and are attached to the victorious yelling, deaden their mind and paralyzed their creative nature. They planned the manner of committing offence of rioting, murder and other offences…,” police added.

As per the chats detailed in the charge sheet, some of the messages sent by the group members were: “Do not give them flats on rent”, “Their eyes are on our sisters, daughters, land”, We will burn everything of theirs like we burned the madrasa today”, “Do not leave them, kill them”.

The accused, Lokesh Kumar Solanki, Pankaj Sharma, Summit Chaudhary, Ankit Chaudhary, Prince, Jatin Sharma, Vivek Panchal, Rishabh Chaudhary, Himanshu Thakur, are presently in judicial custody in the case.

Riots had erupted in northeast Delhi on February 24 as clashes between those supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and those against the legislation turned violent, resulting in the deaths of over 50 people. During the riots, 108 police personnel received injuries and two died.

In the supplementary charge sheet, police have booked the accused under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc) and 505 (public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly assembling to take revenge against the other community and targeting the victims on the basis of their religious identity.

“During the investigation and from the report of retrieving data of seized mobile phones revealed that the above-mentioned report/result of Whatsapp group ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’, group, it is also clear that there are averments in respect of promoting enmity between different groups on the ground of religion and acting in a way that are prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony,” the charge sheet added.

The supplementary charge sheet said that the police has dispatched a letter to the concerned officials for procuring the sanction required for prosecution for offences against the state and criminal conspiracy to commit such offence, which was awaited. It stated that co-accused Monty Nagar, Avdesh Mishra, Monu, Sahil, Shekhar, Mongli, Baba, Tinku and Vinay were to be arrested but their addresses could not be tracked so far.

Excerpts reveal that the accused allegedly also discussed arrangements of stones, bricks, pistols and spoke about destroying a madrasa by the mob of rioters. The charge sheet further claimed that the mob became rioters and allegedly murdered Ali by causing multiple injuries and with a view to hide the evidence, all of them in furtherance of their common intention threw his dead body in the drain.

“There cannot be any doubt that the accused who killed Hashim Ali were certainly up to their neck in the conspiracy and were thus very active members of the unlawful assembly,” it said.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters went out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. So far, the Delhi Police has registered 751 FIRs in connection with communal riots. The police also said that the riots also resulted in large-scale damage to both private and public properties. Till now, the police have arrested 1,575 individuals in 751 cases. Over 250 chargesheets have been filed in the riots related cases in which 1,153 accused have been charge-sheeted.

(With inputs from PTI)