Responding to allegations by Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita, arrested in connection with the north-east Delhi riots, that Delhi Police Crime Branch has “selectively leaked” certain information about her case to the media, the police told the High Court on Tuesday that it was Ms. Kalita who had started a “media campaign/trial in her favour to gain public sympathy”.
The police admitted that it had issued a brief note regarding the case on June 2 as it became necessary for the agency to inform the public that the narrative presented by Pinjra Tod and its affiliate groups was “per se false and fabricated”.
The police said that Ms. Kalita was attempting to malign and impede the ongoing investigation against her by “peddling a false narrative of political vendetta, State-sponsored pogrom and persecution”.
They further submitted that members of the group have taken to social media to present Ms. Kalita and other accused persons as “victims of malicious prosecution by spreading misleading and false information”. The police added that Ms. Kalita and Pinjra Tod have a huge social media presence through which they have been “vociferously trying to impede the ongoing probe against them by trying to gain sympathy and by trying to swing public opinion in their favour”.
‘Selective data leak’
The response of the police came on the direction of the High Court to clarify whether Crime Branch officials had “selectively leaked certain information” regarding allegations made against Ms. Kalita.
On June 10, the High Court had restrained the police from issuing any statements or circulating information regarding allegations or evidence collected against Ms. Kalita or other accused. The High Court has posted the case for further hearing on July 9.
The order came on Ms Kalita’s petition seeking direction to Delhi Police to not leak any information regarding allegations made against her in the case. She has four FIRs lodged against her connected with the anti-CAA protest in Jafrabad, north-east Delhi riots, and violence in Daryaganj during a protest against the new citizenship law. In her petition, she has alleged that the police was “selectively leaking information” regarding allegations and evidence collected against her.