“We are all guilty and our fault is that we wanted to save our country.”
Delhi Police has named Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad in the ‘chronology’ section of the charge sheets that have been filed in connection to the 24-25 February Delhi riots.
A day before violence broke out in Northeast Delhi, on 23 February, Azad had called for a Bharat Bandh to press for reservations and protest against CAA-NRC-NPR. The Jafrabad metro station blockade, which is one of the starting points of the violence according to police charge sheet, was in response to the Bharat Bandh call.
“On 22.02.2020 at about 10.30-11.00 PM, a crowd of about 1000 persons including about 400-500 women and children, in a well-orchestrated way, gathered and sat under Jafrabad Metro Station on main 66 Foota Road in response to a call of Bharat Bandh by Chandrashekhar Azad @Ravan of Bheem Army. The protestors were raising slogans against the government and had clogged the traffic at 66-Foota Road going from Seelampur T-Point towards Maujpur, Delhi.”Delhi Police Charge Sheet in FIR number 65
‘Riots Are Planned by Those Who Benefit From Politics of Riots’
Speaking to The Quint, Azad said, “The Bharat Bandh that happened on 23 February would have become a topic of debate on the following days. People would have raised questions on the issues. To save themselves from the embarrassment, the government resorted to the politics of riot.”
“Members of Bhim Army believe in the Constitutionand those who believe in the Constitution will never resort to violence.”Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhim Army Chief
So far Bhim Army members haven’t been mentioned as “accused” in any of the charge sheets yet and the ‘Bharat Bandh’ finds a mention in the ‘chronology’ section of the charge sheet.
Responding to this, Azad said, “We have to understand where the word ‘chronology’ comes from? Who coined the term? It has been given by our respected Home Minister. Delhi Police is under the MHA, so they have to do what the Centre asks them to do. The MPs who delivered an inciting speech before the violence, the politicians who gave hate speeches during Delhi elections, the media houses that provoked people, none of their names were mentioned in the charge sheets.”
“When governments fail, they need something to stay relevant and that is when they do politics over dead bodies. So if riots happen, also understand who benefits from riots.And whoever it benefits, he is the one who plots the riots.”Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhim Army Chief
Has Azad Been Unusually Quiet on Arrests of Students, Activists?
Through the period of lockdown, there have been several arrests in connection with the Delhi violence. Azad, who had been extremely vocal during the anti-CAA protests in December-January. He was also arrested from a protest at Jama Masjid after violence had broken out in Daryaganj. Later, a Delhi court while coming down heavily on police had also debarred Azad from entering the national capital or holding a protest till Delhi Elections were over.
On being asked if he has unusually been silent on the arrests of activists and students with whom he had once shown vocal solidarity over CAA-NRC-NPR issue, Azad said, “I had tweeted a couple of times, Neither the print media nor the electronic media publishes what I have to say. There was a lockdown enforced due to a pandemic and I care about safety of this country’s people. If there was no lockdown, we would have shown the government what we are capable of.”