Salman Khurshid named in Delhi Riots chargesheet, accused of delivering provocative speeches
- In the 17,000-pages chargesheet, the senior Congress leader was named along with other politicos
- Police have referred to the statement of former Ishrat Jahan and a protected witness in the chargesheet
- Hitting out at the allegations, Khurshid said "Has (the witness) not lied by saying I made provocative statements?"
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Salman Khurshid has been named in the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police for allegedly giving 'provocative speeches' in the February riots, as per PTI reports.
In the chargesheet totalling over 17,000 pages, police have referred to former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan and a protected witness in the case related to the northeast Delhi riots and said that they were the ones to tell about the 'speeches' in their disclosure statements.
The unnamed witness alleged in his statement, under section 161 (examination by police), "Several big names used to come to the Khureji site to give speeches against CAA/NPR (National Population Register)/NRC (National Register for Citizens), like Udit Raj, Salman, Khurshid, Brinda Karat, Umar Khalid (former JNU student leader)..."
Meanwhile, Jahan’s disclosure statement alleged that Khurshid, filmmaker Rahul Roy and Bhim Army member Himanshu were called by her and activist Khalid Saifi on the instructions of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) to sustain the protests against the citizenship law. “... [they] gave provocative speeches because of which all the people sitting in the protest used to get instigated against the government,” Jahan’s statement said, according to PTI.
However, the exact nature of the provocative speeches is yet to be defined by the police.
Hitting out at the allegations, Khurshid said to NDTV, "If you do garbage collection, you get a lot of filth. Any garbage can be put to support statements made by individuals. I would be intrigued to know what is a provocative statement," the 67-year-old senior Congress leader said, responding to the allegations.
"Did I attend a protest to sing a lullaby or support a constitutional, legitimate cause. (This is) an attempt at garbage collection. Sadly, the garbage collectors are not doing a good job. Don't pick up the garbage and ask questions on the quality of garbage."
"Has (the witness) not lied by saying I made provocative statements. Have the police acted on the statement? If they have not acted on it what is the value of the statement," he added.
The disclosure statement of activist Khalid Saifi, who is also named in the chargesheet, stated that during the anti-CAA protests held in January 2020 "Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogender Yadav, (senior advocate) Prashant Bhushan, Salman Khurshid... also used to come to these speeches."
"In order to sustain the protest for a longer time several known persons like Khurshid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider, etc were called to the Khureji protest site by me and Ishrat Jahan," he said in his supplementary disclosure statement.
On February 24, communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.