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Delhi riots case: All ingredients of offences against Meeran Haider have been met, police to HC

Opposing Jamia student and RJD youth wing leader Meeran Haider’s bail plea in the “larger conspiracy case” pertaining to the 2020 Delhi riots, Delhi Police told the Delhi High Court on Monday that Haider was involved in the funding of the riots.

The submission was made by special public prosecutor Amit Prasad before the special bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar wherein he referred to a statement of a protected witness, which stated that his father had given money to Haider which was used in organising the “riots”.

Haider and several others were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Act for allegedly being the “masterminds” of the February 2020 riots, which left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. The violence erupted during the anti-CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC) protests. Arrested in April 2020, Haider has moved the high court seeking bail.

The statement said that the witness’s father had given money Rs 20,000 to Haider. His father gave Rs 10,000 to Jamia Old Boys Association and Rs 1 Lakh to Azmi Association pursuant to which Haider said to him that he and his father had helped him in their “jung” against the government.

On the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act invoked against Haider, Prasad said all the ingredients of Section 15 (punishment for terrorist activity), 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 17(punishment for raising funds for terrorist act)–under Chapter IV of the Act which pertains to terrorist activities as well as well as Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC have been met. With respect to section 17 Prasad submitted, “I don’t have to show the end use has been this, as long as there is a statement that the funds were used”.

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With respect to the offence of criminal conspiracy, Prasad said even the formulation of 25 protests sites were a preparatory act which are sufficient for the offence of conspiracy.

He further submitted that there was large-scale destruction of property in the riots, which is also evident by the number of PCR calls that were made and the deployment of forces. He submitted that public officials were assaulted, referring to Shahdara DCP Amit Sharma who received a head injury and an ACP who suffered severe neck injury, arguing that the ingredients of the offences against Haider were met.

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Haider’s counsel in his rejoinder argued that the 53 persons who died, there is not a single case where the death has been attributed to his client. “The injuries referred to- not one has been ascribed to me. I’m not an accused in any of the FIRs where death has occurred. We are not attacking the larger conspiracy case. We are saying that within that there has to be assertion to each specific individua l– that they (police) have failed to show.”

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