Was held for plaint against BJP minister: Jamia alumni head arrested in Northeast Delhi riots case

The president of Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, who was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots, told a Delhi court on Monday that he was held for filing a complaint against a BJP minister.

The police have accused Rehman of collecting money to fund various sit-in protests, and providing logistical support and daily wages to women protesting against CAA and NRC.

Rehman had complained against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra to the Delhi Police. He accused them of making inflammatory speeches during the Delhi Assembly elections which led to a firing incident at Jamia Millia Islamia University.

The court has adjourned the matter for further hearing on August 3.

Rehman’s lawyer Abhishek Singh told Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat that “there has been systematic violation if fundamentals rights. He was arrested for extraneous reasons”.

He told the court that there was sufficient material to conclude that the “allegations are false and the prosecution is motivated”. He referred to the court’s order asking the jail authorities to provide video conferencing facilities to Rehman in order to seek counsel with his lawyer which was not allowed twice.

“I have been targeted. Since the very inception the investigation has not been fair, attempt was to prevent the accused to get legal advice at the right time,” Singh told the court.

Singh referred to Section 45 of the UAPA which provides for cognisance of offences under the Act. This section makes a provision of an independent review of the evidence gathered.

He told the court that the Delhi police recommended sanction on 28 July 2020, but the report was submitted on July 30.

“Was the investigation complete on this date? Was the evidence gathered by this date so that it could be reviewed? The exercise is a fraud on power. It’s a complete abuse of process of law. It couldn’t have been completed on the said date.The Prosecution committed the mistake of arresting me without any evidence. I was vindictively arrested as I had made a complaint against a BJP minister, ” Singh told the court

Singh added, “On what basis this review was conducted? The only conclusion that we can arrive at is that they were acting under dictation of someone. Grant of sanction was pre determined… Somebody had said do it, and it was done. There was absolute abdication of authority.”


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