Anti CAA move to provoke agitation and disaffection against the nation: Delhi court

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Anti CAA move to provoke agitation and disaffection against the nation: Delhi court

Delhi legal court rejects bail plea of Asif Iqbal Tanha

Thursday, 29th October 2020


A Delhi law court on this Tuesday rejected a bail to a young university student of 27 years, stating that “vociferous agitation in the guise of Citizen Amendment Bill coupled with other activities of violence would show it was meant to cause or intended to cause disaffection against India”.

 

It’s perhaps the second time that the bail petition of Asif Iqbal Tanha of the Jamia Millia Islamia University has been rejected. Tanha has been charged with the allegation of conspiring in matters of NE Delhi communal riots where he was charged under UAPA act. Police have moved the allegation that Tanha had conspired with Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam; both ex-JNU students to “overthrow the Government” by initiating a road blockade or Chakka jam in the Muslim-dominated areas. According to police, Tanha had made use of fake documents to purchase SIM of a mobile phone to be used during the riots. This very SIM was later given to another student of Jamia student and to Safoora Zargar, a co-accused for organizing more protests, said the police.

 

In response to Sidharth Aggarwal’s (lawyer of Tanha) argument that organizations like Students’ Islamic Organization and Jamia Coordination Committee were in no way terrorist organizations that could be penalized under the UAPA, Amitabh Rawat, Additional Sessions Judge said: “Acts which threaten the unity and integrity of India, …causing social disharmony and creating terror in any section of the people, by making them feel surrounded resulting in violence, is also a terrorist act.”

 

Rawat agreed to the fact that these organizations were definitely not under UAPA, but also stated that “we have to understand terrorist activity” as per the Act’s Section 15 (“Terrorist Act”).

 

“…The entire conspiracy beginning from December 2019 of intentionally blocking roads to cause inconvenience and causing disrupting of the supplies of services… resulting in violence with various means and then leading to February incident with the focus being targeted blocking of roads at mixed population areas and creating panic and attack on police personnel with facade of women protesters in front and leading to riots would be covered by the definition of terrorist act,” read the court order.

 

“Acts which threaten the unity and integrity of India, in as much as causing social disharmony and creating terror in any section of the people, by making them feel surrounded resulting in violence, is also a terrorist act.”

 

“Conspiracy has to be read as a whole and not piecemeal. Moreover, the question of presence of accused at the site in North-East Delhi at the time of riots is not a sine qua non for a conspiracy case. Hence, the provisions of UAPA have been rightly invoked in the present case,” the court further said.

 

Again, the court said that though the disclosure statements had been meaningless the ones made by the protected witnesses come with “sufficient incriminating material” against Asif Iqbal Tanha.

 

ASJ Rawat put stress on the fact that “in unequivocal terms that there is freedom to protest available to all the citizens of the country but that is subject to reasonable restrictions.”

 

He further said, “There is also no manner of doubt that every citizen can hold an opinion about any legislation which they construe as unfair in their understanding”, and every citizen has “the right to protest against any law”.

 

But, “What actually has to be seen in the context of the present case is whether there was a conspiracy which led to riots under the guise of protest against CAA or not, in terms of the contents of the charge sheet.”

 

 

Source: Indian Express


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