The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of the Delhi government on an appeal moved by student leader-activist Gulfisha Fatima, challenging the trial court order which refused her bail in the alleged larger conspiracy behind the 2020 Delhi riots.
Issuing notice in the matter, a division bench comprising Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar slated it for further hearing on July 14.
Gulfisha Fatima was arrested in connection with the riots that broke out in northeast Delhi in February 2020.
During the course of the hearing, the appellant’s counsel submitted that she has been in custody now for over two years now.
According to the police FIR, Fatima had instigated an unlawful assembly which then indulged in riots in the Jafrabad area, which led to the death of one Amaan, who died of gunshot injuries. She has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
As per the police, in the disclosure statement, Gulfisha Fatima told police about the January 15 Seelampur demonstration and said, “The crowd had started growing according to the plan, big leaders and lawyers started coming in to provoke and mobilise this crowd, including Omar Khalid, Chander Shekhar Ravan, Yogendra Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, and lawyer Mahmood Pracha.”
According to the charge sheet, she added, “Pracha said that sitting in the demonstration is your democratic right and the rest of the leaders fuelled the feeling of discontent in the community by calling CAA and NRC anti-Muslim.”
The names of economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor, and activist Apoorvanand, and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy also figured in the charge sheet. In the statement, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal said that they were asked by the three persons to protest against the CAA and NRC and go to any extreme.
Other main accused persons allegedly linked with the larger conspiracy case, including former JNU student Umar Khalid, United Against Hate activist Khalid Saifi, Congress former councillor Ishrat Jahan, AAP former councillor Tahir Hussain and RJD youth wing’s Meeran Haider.
Communal violence broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24, 2020, after clashes between supporters of the Citizenship (Amendment Act) and those opposed to it.