Delhi Police denies seeing video that triggered violence, Delhi HC plays it to them in court
When told that the Delhi Police hadn't seen a video of BJP Leader Kapil Mishra allegedly instigating violence, a bench of the Delhi High Court said, “This is really concerning. There are so many TVs in your office, how can police officer say that he hasn’t watched the videos. I’m really appalled by the state of affairs of Delhi Police.”
“I’m really appalled by the state of affairs of Delhi Police”. When the judge of a high court says this, you know things are bad.
Here’s what happened:
BJP leader, Kapil Mishra issued a statement made at North East Delhi on Sunday, hours before the violence broke out.
In the video, while leading a march in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he had given Delhi police a three day ultimatum to clear the area of Anti-CAA protestors. He threatened consequences if they failed. He can be seen making these incendiary comments even as a Delhi Police officer stands next to him.
Violence and unrest erupted in North East Delhi following his statements. As a result, 20 people have died, and over 150 have sustained casualties.
A plea was filed by a retired bureaucrat, Harsh Mander, seeking a judicial enquiry into the instigation of violence, the filing of an FIR against the culprits, the deployment of the army in the area, and compensation for the victims.
The petition sought direction to the authorities to register an FIR against Mishra, Union minister Anurag Thakur and BJP MP Parvesh Verma and others who are allegedly "engaged in criminal activities, including rioting and inciting hatred among classes under the Indian Penal Code and the Damage of Public Property Act.
The Delhi Police asked that the matter be postponed for 24 hours. The Court, however, refused. The Bench said, “Isn’t lodging of FIRs against the culprits an urgent matter? The situation out there is very unpleasant.”
Justice Muralidhar, referring to the video of Mishra, asked, “There are videos that hundreds of people have watched. Do you still think it’s not an urgent matter?”
In response, the Delhi Police said they had seen videos of the violence, but that particular video had escaped their notice.
The judge then said, “This is really concerning. There are so many TVs in your office, how can police officer say that he hasn’t watched the videos. I’m really appalled by the state of affairs of Delhi Police.” He then ordered the clip of Mishra’s address to be played in the court.
Also today, the Supreme Court reprimanded Delhi Police for the clashes in Delhi and termed unfortunate the incidents of violence in the national capital but refused entertain pleas on them.
A bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said it will not expand the scope of petitions filed in connection with the protests at Shaheen Bagh by looking into the pleas on violence.
"These things would not have happened had police not allowed instigators to get away," the bench said, while referring to the incidents of violence.
Police doesn't have to wait for orders if someone makes inflammatory statements but act in accordance with law, the court said.
Chief Minister Kejriwal said the situation has become "alarming", adding that he is writing to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
"I have been in touch with large no. of people whole nite (night). Situation alarming. Police, despite all its efforts, unable to control situation and instil confidence (sic)," Kejriwal tweeted.
"Army shud (should) be called in and curfew imposed in rest of affected areas immediately. Am writing to Hon'ble HM to this effect," he added.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said what BJP leader Kapil Mishra had said was "shameful" but the government's silence on it was even "more shameful".