22/09/2020 3:30 PM IST

Kapil Mishra Claims His Ultimatum Was 'Request' To Police, He Only Planned Dharna

The BJP leader said he didn’t give a speech, but a Delhi Minorities Commission panel noted that violence erupted soon after his speech at Maujpur.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
BJP leader Kapil Mishra at Maujpur on February 23, 2020.

The Delhi Police in July questioned BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who gave an ultimatum to the police to remove anti-CAA protesters in Jaffrabad in February, in connection with the Delhi riots.

Mishra said that he did not give a speech and his remarks, made in Maujpur and which later went viral, were only meant to convey his intention of launching a “dharna” to counter anti-CAA protesters, according to The Indian Express

On 23 February, he led a rally in Maujpur area and, while standing next to the DCP (Northeast) of Seelampur Ved Prakash Surya, gave a three-day ultimatum to the Delhi Police to clear the road in the area. A committee constituted by the Delhi Minorities Commission noted that violence erupted in parts of North East Delhi soon after Mishra’s speech calling for forcefully removing anti-CAA protesters at Jaffrabad. 

Mishra, according to The Indian Express, said during his questioning that he had “requested the DCP” to clear Jaffrabad and Chand Bagh area of anti-CAA protesters, otherwise he would sit on a “dharna”.

The BJP leader alleged that locals could not run their shops and children were facing difficulty in going to school because of the anti-CAA protesters. “Muslims had created an atmosphere of terror and fear there,” Mishra told police, according to The Indian Express.

In a now deleted tweet from 23 February, he had said, “Three days’ ultimatum for Delhi Police, clear the roads in Jaffrabad and Chandbagh. After this, don’t make us understand. We won’t listen to you. Only three days.”

The Delhi Minorities Commission Committee said the “the open admission of ‘not listening’ to the police and extra-legal tactics should have been seen by the authorities present as inciting violence,” according to The Wire. It further noted that the police’s failure to apprehend or arrest the BJP leader “indicates that they failed to take the first and most immediate preventive step needed to avoid violence from arising and (to) protect life and property.”

Mishra, The Indian Express reported, said he went to Maujpur because he got calls from locals and saw Facebook posts where people said they were having problems because of blocked roads.

In a tweet on 23 February, he had asked people to gather at Maujpur Chowk in support of the CAA, as a reply to the roadblock by those protesting against the new citizenship law.

Several pleas have been filed seeking FIRs against Mishra and retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro has also questioned the police’s actions. Ribeiro wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava and said that while action has been taken against innocent people, BJP leaders like Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma have “not been arraigned before the courts”. 

Shrivastava wrote back claiming that the police investigation was being conducted without any discrimination, according to The Print. However, Ribeiro said the commissioner did not explain the “license given to three BJP stalwarts”. 

The Delhi Police had told the High Court in July that there has not been any evidence showing political leaders instigating or participating in the violence. 

The police’s submission to the Delhi High Court came in response to pleas alleging that BJP leaders Mishra, Thakur and Verma gave hate speeches, leading to the violence, PTI had reported. 

People’s Union for Civil Liberties also raised concerns this month over the police investigation into the riots. While urging the police commissioner to ensure a fair and just investigation, the rights body said “The fact that the police is not investigating the role played by BJP leaders, like Kapil Mishra and others, in actually instigating and promoting the violence, despite so much electronic evidence of speeches, social media posts being available only deepens our concern.”

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