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Delhi riots: HC asks police to show videos of Pinjra Tod member making instigating speeches

The Delhi High Court Friday asked Delhi Police to show the videos of a member of Pinjra Tod group, a women’s collective, allegedly making instigating speeches during the communal violence in northeast Delhi early this year.

The police, however, said they do not have the videos of the time when the group’s member Devangana Kalita, a JNU student, was allegedly making instigating speeches during the riots incident.

The police said it has the videos of her allegedly instigating people before the riots took place on February 24 and 25 and also of February 22 and 23 when a large gathering was sitting and protesting outside Jafrabad metro station in northeast Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

While hearing the arguments on Kalita’s bail plea in a case related to the communal violence in Delhi during protests against the CAA, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said, “Show me any portion of the speech recorded by the media or anyone else which showed that Kalita instigated the mob to commit the crime.” During that period, the media was everywhere and recording everything, the court said.

“I want to know what she said which instigated the mob,” the judge said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju, appearing for the police, said there was no media on February 25 when the incident happened and the witness accounts showed Kalita’s role in instigating the mob.

When the law officer stated that Kalita’s call detail records showed her location to be that spot, the judge said even she has admitted that she was there.

“It was well planned and organized at a time when US President Donald Trump was to come here. It was done to damage the image of the country. Public property was destroyed and a large number of people were injured and one person died,” the ASG argued while opposing the bail plea.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Kalita, said the police were not showing any instigation or speeches allegedly given by her but was only relying on statements of others recorded under the CrPC.

The counsel shared a video with the court to show that the police were recording the protest and said the officials were still not showing any videos to the court.

“Accused is not a politician. She is an academician and a research scholar. She has already been granted bail in two cases. Let the police show us the video and the hate speech. The police are not showing us that there is any possibility of her fleeing from justice,” Sibal submitted.