‘Delhi Riots: Conspiracy unravelled,’ a book by Prabhat Prakashan promises to bring out the truth behind the North East Delhi riots which rocked the national capital earlier this year. The book edited by journalists Aditya Bhardwaj and Ashish Kumar, primarily draws from the findings of a six-member panel of a Delhi-based trust, Call for Justice.
The book dwells on different aspects of the riot separately and analyzes each one of them on the basis of facts. Below are some exclusive excerpts of the book, from page numbers 115 to 117 where the matter of the “mastermind” of the riots has been discussed. The section ponders on whether infamous Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) corporator Tahir Hussain is truly the mastermind of the riots as he claims or whether he is just a pawn for a bigger conspirator:
Delhi Riots: Conspiracy unravelled – Mastermind of Delhi Riots
Under this plan, we invited a number of people and instructed them how to pelt stones, petrol bombs and acid bottles. I shifted my family to another place. We started pelting stones at 1:30 pm on 24 February.
Aam Aadmi Party gained substantial Muslim vote on the basis of its strong network with mosques and madrasas across the city as well as its rapport with leaders like Tahir Hussain and Amanullah Khan.
Now Tahir Hussain has confessed his role in Delhi riots but he still appears to be shielding his mentors in AAP with whom he was constantly in touch during riots. This information has already appeared in media.
According to Tahir ever since he became councilor on AAP ticket he wanted to do something for his community, so he decided to teach a lesson to Hindus using his money and muscle power.
It was Khalid Saifi who showed Tahir the way. The former told the latter that he could use his political clout and financial resources to fix Hindus. Saifi assured him of complete back-up. After amendment of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Saifi approached Tahir and told him, they wouldn’t sit quiet this time. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court verdict favouring construction of Ram Temple and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) also came in quick succession. Tahir felt that it was time to do something drastic.
Delhi Police has already filed a chargesheet in murder of young IB officer Ankit Sharma at Chand Bagh. A chargesheet has already been filed against 10 accused including Tahir.
Tahir confessed of a meeting with JNU’s student leader Umar Khalid at PFI’s office. The meeting was facilitated by Khalid Saifi. Khalid brought up the issue of starting massive violence and assured Tahir that he could do anything for his community. The reference of Danish from PFI also came up during the discussion. Khalid Saifi assured of financial support. Tahir spent more than Rs. One Crore during riots which proves that lot of money was brought in the name of riots and spent also.
It was decided during the first meeting at the PFI office that the government should buckle down to take back the CAA. By that time, the date of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India wasn’t known. There is a possibility that when this news came, the riots were planned accordingly.
Tahir also discussed the issue of ‘work distribution’ during this meeting. It is clear that while Tahir might be claiming that he was the master mind, the real ‘Task Master’ was someone else whose name hasn’t come up yet. He was the one who was calling the shots.
According to Tahir, he was assigned the task of keeping maximum possible quantity of glass bottles with acid, petrol, stones etc. on his roof.
That is why there was a long queue on Bhajanpura petrol pump since the morning on the day when riots started. This information was given by a witness. Such a heavy rush on a normal day at petrol pump in this area wasn’t normal. Khalid took the task of bringing Muslims on the road. He had also got started a demonstration in Khureji on the lines of Shaheen Bagh along with his friend Isharat.
Tahir started preparations after this meeting. He confessed during interrogation, “I had bought empty bottles from the junk dealers and started collecting them on my roof. I had got the tanks of all my four vehicles filled with petrol and diesel so that they could be used to make bombs by filling them in the bottles.”
Tahir had the first conversation related to the planning and execution of riots on 4 February. This conversation happened with Khalid Saifi in Abul Fazal Enclave. Tahir was assured in this meeting that he shouldn’t worry about money at all as many Muslim organisations including PFI, Jamia Coordination Committee as well as several leaders and advocates were helping in arranging the money.
Incidentally Umar Khalid’s father Sayyad Kasim Rasul Iliyas runs his outfit ‘Welfare Party of India’ from Abul Fazal Enclave itself. Iliyas is the national president of the party. He was member of the banned outfit Student Islamic Movement of India and was one of the petitioners who went to Supreme Court against the construction of Ram Temple.
They knew the road blockade would be opposed and the Police and the local population would try to remove it. This would lead to clashes and taking advantage of this situation, the mob present there would be provoked to start the riots. The sole aim of these activities was to make the government retreat on the CAA.
Tahir also told Delhi Police about his team of rioters. On 24 February, he invited his neighbor Arshad Qayyum, Monu, Pistol wale Gulfam, Sharad Ahmad Haji, Liaqat Ali, Mohammad Riyan Arshad from Dayalpur and his son Rishad Ali on his roof. He had also sent the invitation to his electrician Mohammad Abid, accountant Mohammad Shadab, Rashid Saifi and his brother Shah Alam. The invitees were explained in detail how and when to use stones, petrol bombs and acid bottles.
He told them to ensure that these ‘weapons’ hit only Hindus and the Police. He got the CCTV wires on his roof and outside his home dismantled on 24 February, 2020. He didn’t want to leave behind any evidence. Tahir who threw the north-east Delhi into cauldron of riots didn’t involve his wife and children in this. He had sent them to his relative’s place. The repeated calls made to the police were also part of the conspiracy.
Tahir’s brother Shah Alam and one other accused fired from the murderous roof of Tahir’s house. At present both Tahir and Khalid Saifi are in police custody but it appears that the real Masterminds of this conspiracy have still not been apprehended. In such a big conspiracy, people like Tahir and Khalid could be just pawns in the game.
The book is expected to hit the shelves in first week of September.