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“Heard People Shout Kapil Mishra’s Men Set Pandal On Fire,”Witness Statement In Delhi Violence Case

He also added that he left for his home “when the chaos increased” in the area, but returned later to only hear people shout about the pandal incident.

New Delhi| According to an Indian Express report on Wednesday,  a witness statement in chargesheet filed by the police in a case related to the murder of Head Constable Rattan Lal during the violence in North East Delhi in February says he had heard people at a protest site shout that a pandal had been set on fire by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra’s people.

On 23rd February, BJP’s Kapil Mishra held a rally about 2 kilometres from Jafrabad in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act. While addressing a crowd, Mishra had given police an ultimatum of three-day to clear the protests. A day later, unprecedented communal violence broke out in northeast Delhi leaving at least 53 people dead and hundreds injured.

According to the statement, the witness identified as Najam ul Hasan was present at the protest site on February 24 but “did not see” the alleged incident, according to the statement. The police have named Hasan among “important witnesses” who were “fully aware about the conspiracy and planning” of the protests at Chand Bagh.

In Hasan’s statement recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he said, “The stage was set on fire by some of Kapil Mishra’s people. I did not see it happening, but people were shouting about it.”

He also added that he left for his home “when the chaos increased” in the area, but returned later to only hear people shout about the pandal incident.

Police analysis of the witness statements recorded in the chargesheet said, “Continuous misinformation about CAA and NRC was being spread from the protest site in which several students of DU and Jamia were also involved. Illegal march was taken out on February 23, which was stopped by police and later in the night the conspirators held a meeting in which strategy for February 24 was decided.”

It further said that the violence was not impromptu but planned. “The organisers and protesters chose the date and time for the march and road blockage, that is, February 23 to 24 for riots, keeping in view the [visit] of Donald Trump, president of USA, to gain the maximum impact,” the chargesheet mentioned.

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