The worst-ever communal violence in India’s capital in four decades was an outcome of a conspiracy to defame the Narendra Modi government, Delhi Police has claimed in multiple chargesheets filed in court in June. The conspirators, it alleged, were those who had organised protests against the controversial Citizenship Act amendments.
This week, it went a step further, alleging the conspirators had secessionist motives and were using “the façade of civil disobedience” to destabilise the Indian government.
To recap: Parliament amended the Citizenship Act on December 11, introducing a religious test for Indian citizenship for the first time. It made only non-Muslim migrants from three neighbouring countries eligible for fast-tracked Indian citizenship. Coming on the back of repeated assertions by home minister Amit Shah about the government’s plans to draw up a National Register of Citizens to weed out “infiltrators”, it sparked anxieties among Indian Muslims about the possible loss of citizenship. [Read about how the CAA and NRC intersect, here and here.]
Muslims, students and other citizens who felt the amended law undermined India’s secular foundations began nationwide demonstrations against it in December 2019. Delhi saw peaceful sit-in protests at several locations over three months.
The Delhi Police has claimed these protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of...