Mahendar Singh Manral

A day after arresting former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid, the Delhi Police Special Cell has summoned filmmakers Rahul Roy and Saba Dewan, asking them to join the investigation on Monday in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots.

They have been summoned as the Special Cell (New Delhi Range) claims to have found their links with some students’ outfit, and with a WhatsApp group called the ‘Delhi Protests Support Group (DPSG)’.

Sources said 15-20 members of the WhatsApp group have been questioned so far — most recently, Delhi University Professor Apoorvanand, whose phone was also seized.

Following the February riots, an FIR was registered on March 6, based on information provided by an informer to Sub-Inspector Arvind Kumar. As per the FIR, Kumar said the informer told him that the violence was a “premeditated conspiracy” and named several people.

The case was transferred to the Special Cell, which was tasked with investigating a “larger conspiracy” behind the riots; the unit has since invoked the stringent UAPA against several people.

Twenty people have been arrested by the Special Cell so far, including 16 under the UAPA. Four have got bail, while 15 are still in jail. The 15 include Pinjra Tod’s Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, who are also part of the WhatsApp group in question.

This story first appeared in ‘Indian Express’ on September 14, 2020 here