DU Professor Dr. Apoorvanand Among Yechury, Named In Supplementary Chargesheet of Delhi Riots

DU professor Dr. Apoorvanand was named among other political leaders in the supplementary charge sheet filed by Delhi Police, with regards to the February North East Delhi Riots. They were accused of spreading discontent and maligning the government’s image.

On 12th September 2020, the Delhi Police named a professor from Delhi University ( DU) Dr. Apoorvanand, Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of Communist Party of India ( Marxist) CPI ( M), Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav and economist Jayati Ghosh in a supplementary charge sheet, filed with regards to the February Delhi riots cases. They were alleged for “provoking and mobilizing” anti-CAA protesters. Their names appeared in the supplementary charge sheet filed by the police on the riots in North East Delhi, between February 23 and 26. A copy of the charge sheet is with the Press Trust of India ( PTI).

Reportedly, all the above-mentioned personalities have been named based on the statements of the three students —  Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal- Pinjra Tod members and Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) students, and Gulfisha Fathima of Jamia Milia Islamia ( JMI). All three students are facing charges under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

In the charge sheet, which was made public just two days before the commencement of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Delhi Police has claimed that Kalita and Narwal admitted to not just their complicity in the riots but also named Ghosh, Apoorvanand and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy as their mentors, who allegedly asked them to carry out the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and go to “any extreme”.

As reported by Free Press Journal

Reportedly, based on the statements of 3 students, some of the names have also been charged with asking the protesters to go to “any extreme”, spreading “discontent” in the community by calling the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) /National Register of Citizens (NRC) anti-Muslim and organizing demonstrations to “malign the image of Government of India”. The charge sheet stated that Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal told the police that Ghosh, Apoorvanand, and Roy coordinated with the Islamist group Popular Front of India (PFI) and the Jamia Coordination Committee to mentor the Pinjra Tod members to carry forward their campaign against the CAA.

 Dr. Apoorvanand, who was earlier grilled by the police in August 2020, slammed the Delhi Police charge sheet. He stated that that was the government’s political position which was being parroted in the supplementary charge sheet as a legal offense. Dr. Apoorvanand added that the supplementary charge sheet furthered the political agenda of discrediting the protestors.

Dr Apoorvanand further stated that though the FIR 50/2020 was filed with connection to the death of a person named Amaan due to gunshot in the riots, the investigation seemed like focussing on making the protestors indirectly responsible for Amaan’s death. He further added that it was surprising that the police had accused the three female students of having murdered the 17-year-old boy- Amaan.

It is also pertinent that on September 1st, the Delhi High Court while hearing a bail application by Devangana Kalita, has categorically held that the police have not been able to give any evidence of any incendiary speech by her. The court also said that the statements of the witnesses were produced belatedly, as an afterthought by the police.
We are still waiting for the Delhi police to start an investigation to find out the truth behind the actual act of the February violence. “

An excerpt from Dr. Apoorvanand’s statement
Dr. Apoorvanand’s Official Statement

A political debate broke out after the charge sheet was made public, with the Delhi Police has said that the Police had not filed a charge sheet “against” them. Reportedly, the sources tried justifying the difference between ”naming” of someone as an accused in a charge sheet and of mentioning a name due to certain allegations.

 Mr. Anil Mittal, the Delhi Police Additional Public Relations Officer ( PRO) stated that the disclosure statement was truthfully recorded as narrated by the accused person. He added that a  person was not arraigned as an accused only on the basis of the disclosure statement and explained that the matter was currently sub judice.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Navneet Kaur