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No cognizable offence for FIR against Thakur, Verma, police tells court


New Delhi, Feb 26: Delhi Police told a court here on Wednesday that prima facie no cognizable offence was found for lodging FIR against Union minister Anurag Thakur and his BJP colleague and MP Parvesh Verma for their alleged hate speech in relation to anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.

Anurag Thakur

The submissions were made in an action taken report (ATR), filed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja, who was hearing a complaint by CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat seeking FIRs against Thakur and Verma.

The court, which reserved order for March 2 on whether to direct the police to lodge FIRs, had on February 5 directed it to file an ATR.

In the ATR filed on Wednesday, the police said the legal opinion has been sought in the matter and requested the court grant more time to file the final report, the court sources said.

The report said that the word 'gaddar (traitor)', used in the rally by Thakur, 'does not point to any particular section of the society. Surmises and conjecture cannot be the basis for initiating any legal action'.

It said: 'In the referred speech, the speaker is pointing to a group of protesters and is not pointing to any particular community.

'He (Thakur) is not provoking the crowd to start any riot or taking any retaliatory action against the protesters.' The report said the allegation that statements by Thakur and Verma had caused incitement which led to shooting in Jamia Milia Islamia was not found since the juvenile, who allegedly fired in the varsity, 'has not attributed his action either to the words of Thakur or Verma'.

'The complainant very clearly is making presumption which is legally not tenable,' it said.

It further stated that 'the complainant has referred to incidents of violence and it has already been clarified that both are independent acts which did not have any connection to the speeches mentioned in the complaint.' Karat has said in her complaint that 'Thakur and Verma had sought to incite people and as a result of which three incidents of firing took place at two different protest sites in Delhi.' The complaint has sought lodging of FIRs under various sections, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC.

It also sought action under other sections of the IPC, including 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).

If convicted, the accused may get a maximum jail term for seven years.

Karat approached the court after her written complaints to the Commissioner of Police and the SHO, Parliament Street, failed to elicit any response, she told the court.

She had written to the Commissioner on January 29 and subsequently on 31, while the letter to the SHO Parliament Street was sent on February 2, she said.

At the Rithala rally here, the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs had on January 27 egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan -- 'shoot the traitors' -- after lashing out at anti-CAA protesters.

BJP MP Verma had on January 28 said that what happened in Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits could happen in Delhi, warning that lakhs of anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh could enter homes to kill and rape women.

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