‘Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma not to blame for Jamia shootings, no need of FIR’: Police to court

The Delhi Police told a court in the national Capital on Wednesday that no cognisable offence was found for filing first information reports against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for hate speech against the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors at Shaheen Bagh, PTI reported.

In the run-up to the Delhi elections last month, Union minister Anurag Thakur had exhorted a crowd at a rally to shout “shoot the traitors”. Verma had told an audience that the “lakhs of protestors” who have gathered at Shaheen Bagh would enter their homes to “rape their sisters and daughters and kill them”. Later that month, Verma claimed that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was a “terrorist”.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja was hearing a plea filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat, seeking FIRs against Thakur and Verma. The Delhi Police submitted an Action Taken Report in the court on Wednesday.

The court had directed the police on February 5 to file an Action Taken Report. On Wednesday, it reserved its order on whether FIRs should be filed for March 2.

The police said legal opinion has been sought in the matter and requested the court grant more time to file the final report. The Action Taken Report claimed that the word “gaddar” (traitor) used by Thakur, the minister of state for finance, “does not point to any particular section of the society. Surmises and conjecture cannot be the basis for initiating any legal action.” The police claimed that Thakur did not incite the audience to violence.

The police also asserted that there was no evidence to show that the hate speech by Thakur and Verma had led to the shootings outside Jamia Millia Islamia last month. The report said the shooter “has not attributed his action either to the words of Thakur or Verma”.

“The complainant very clearly is making presumption which is legally not tenable,” the report said. “The complainant has referred to incidents of violence and it has already been clarified that both are independent acts which did not have any connection to the speeches mentioned in the complaint.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Delhi High Court had castigated the police for inaction during the ongoing violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act in North East district. The court also directed the police to take a decision on filing cases against BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their incendiary speeches.

At least 27 people have been killed and over 180 injured in the clashes, which began on Sunday.

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