‘Jahangirpuri Shobha Yatra had arms but was peaceful until attacked,’ police say

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New Delhi: Delhi police claimed in their indictment of communal violence in the nation’s capital Jahangirpuri in April that while the Hindu-led Hanuman Jayanti procession had participants carrying guns and other weapons , it was the attack by the Muslims that led to the violence.

Indian Express reported that in the indictment filed by the criminal section of the Rohini court police on July 14, the police claimed that the “Shobha Yatra” members on April 16 were carrying “firearms, swords and staves”.

However, police claimed the march was “peaceful” until it reached the Jama Masjid in Block C of Jahangirpuri.

“The gathered Muslim population confronted and attacked the procession with deadly weapons…after being attacked, the peaceful procession also responded and then turned into an unlawful assembly rioting,” Express cited the character sheet, which the court took cognizance of.

In May, a Delhi court observed prima facie that the Delhi police had “completely failed” to stop this procession of Hanuman Jayanti – for which no authorization had been granted. Basically, the court asked why local police were accompanying an illegal motorcade instead of arresting it.

Four days after the incident, bulldozers arrived in the area and began demolishing properties. Later that morning, the Supreme Court ordered the status quo on the demolition campaign. However, despite the higher court’s order, the conduct continued at Jahangirpuri, Thread had reported.

Police claimed the defendants were part of a WhatsApp group where “hate speech” against “the other community/religion” was broadcast. This WhatsApp group was created by the man named main accused by the police, Tabrez, who is on the run.

Lawyers representing the accused have denied the allegations, noting that there are numerous “flaws in the indictment”.

The Express The report examines the indictment to conclude that the police made their case based on two messages – received by the accused on April 14 and 15.

Police further claimed that Tabrez’s continued presence on the WhatsApp group despite receiving such messages “says a lot about his inclination of mind.”

Express also reported on an alleged voice note police claim to have found in which Tabrez was heard showing someone how to file a “fake” complaint. Another accused Ishrafil, according to the police, tried to gather a crowd to counter the Shobha Yatra.

Thread previously reported that residents of Jahangirpuri had complained and taken to court against what they saw as a partisan investigation into communal violence on Hanuman Jayanti. Locals spoke of alleged sustained harassment of Muslims in the area by investigating police – which is said to have prompted many Muslim men in the area to leave Jahangirpuri.

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