Opposition leaders call on President, seeks inquiry by commission headed by judge into Delhi riots probe

Opposition leaders on Thursday called on President Ram Nath Kovind and raised questions on the role of Delhi Police during the Delhi riots of February this year as well as the probe conducted thereafter. A joint memorandum was submitted by them before the President.

Raising questions on the probe, the leaders urged for an inquiry into the investigation under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952, headed by sitting/retired judge(s). The Opposition delegation included Sitaram Yechury CPI(M) general secretary, Ahmed Patel of the Congress, DMK’s MP Kanimozhi, CPI leader D. Raja and RJD’s Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha.

Special investigation teams (SITs) and its Special Cell set up by the Delhi Police have been probing the riots, in which 53 persons were killed. According to the memorandum, “There are… serious questions about the role played by the Delhi Police during the violence and also the manner in which the police is harassing and attempting to falsely implicate activists and young people who took part in the anti CAA/NRC/NPR movements as the perpetrators of violence… Such a manufactured conspiracy theory has now begun to falsely implicate political leaders.”

The leaders pointed out that while the police was “silent” on the alleged hate speech of BJP leaders and did not initiate action against its own personnel, the probe appeared to have been done with a view to “criminalising the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)” and portrayed as conspiracy that resulted in the Delhi riots.

The memorandum also criticised police for reference made to Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) general secretary, citing disclosure statements made by the accused. Yechury said after submitting the memorandum that the idea was to approach the President with the matter as he is the constitutional head. The memorandum mentioned that despite complaints filed alleging involvement of police officials, nothing appears to have been done in identifying them and “ensuring that they are brought to book.”

“The entire investigation appears to be aimed at arriving at a pre-meditated theory about a conspiracy propounded by the Home Minister in Lok Sabha in March 2020, before any investigation had even begun into the riots,” the memorandum said.

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