Delhi riots: Police question DU professor Apoorvanand for five hours, seize his phone

'It is disturbing to see a theory emerging which treats the supporters of the anti-CAA protesters as the source of violence,' the professor said in a statement

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New Delhi: Delhi University professor Apoorvanand was questioned by the Delhi Police's Special Cell in connection with the northeast Delhi riots, police said on Tuesday.

The professor, who teaches Hindi at the varsity, said he spent five hours at the Special Cell's office and his phone was also seized by the police.

"On Monday, August 3, 2020, I was asked by the Special Cell, Delhi Police, to appear before it in the investigation into FIR no 59/20 related to the violence that happened in NE Delhi in February, 2020. I spent five hours there. The Delhi Police also considered it necessary to seize my phone for the purpose of investigation," he said in a statement shared online.

He urged the police to conduct a "thorough and fair probe" in the matter.

"While cooperating and respecting the right of police authorities to conduct a full, fair and thorough investigation, one can only hope that the probe would focus on the real instigators and perpetrators of the violence against a peaceful citizens' protest and the people of Northeast Delhi," he said in the statement.

He further said the investigation should not lead to further harassment and victimization of the protestors and their supporters, who asserted their democratic rights through constitutional means while stating their dissent to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) and the decision of the government to operationalise the National Population Register (NPR) and the National register of Citizens (NRC), all over the country.

"It is disturbing to see a theory emerging which treats the supporters of the protestors as the source of violence. I would urge the police and expect their probe to be thorough, just and fair so that truth prevails," the professor said.

The Delhi Police said that the professor was summoned in a case relating to north-east Delhi riots, by Special Cell, Delhi Police. "He came to Lodhi Colony office yesterday (Monday) afternoon in response to a notice and was examined in connection with the investigation of the case. As a part of investigation, his mobile phone was taken into possession by investigation team," the police said.

In February, the northeastern parts of the National Capital were rocked by communal violence that claimed at least 53 lives and injured many people.

The police have been criticised for their handling of the investigation in various quarters, including by student activists, filmmakers and civil society groups, who have accused the force of carrying out a "witchhunt" at a time when the country is battling the coronavirus pandemic.

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