Manufacturing Evidence: How the Police is framing and arresting constitutional rights defenders in India

Executive Summary

This report, with inputs from human rights defenders and concerned citizens of India. documents dereliction of duty on the part of the Delhi Police during the violence in North-East Delhi in February 2020. It presents evidence of abuse of power, violations of due process, and attempts at manufacturing evidence by the Delhi Police in order to weave a “conspiracy” about the involvement of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC) protesters in the violence. The report presents information from news stories. fact-finding reports by civil society groups. and interviews with those targeted by the Police to demonstrate grievous Police misconduct.

The key findings and charges against the Delhi Police are:

  1. The Delhi Police is complicit in the violence of February 2020 in Delhi
  2. The Delhi Police failed to help survivors of that violence
  3. The Delhi Police’s refusal/delay/obfuscation in the registration of FIRs by victims. and the failure to disclose the name of persons arrested / FIRs violates due process and helps shield the guilty
  4. The Delhi Police is creating a baseless narrative about a ‘conspiracy” that implicates Muslim victims of violence and activists protesting erosion of constitutional rights of citizens. and erases actions of Hindu nationalist provocations.

The Delhi Police’s investigations are compromised by:

A. Guilt by presumption rather than by presentation of evidence

B. Suppression of evidence related to violence by Hindu nationalists

C. Blaming the victims for producing violence that has injured/ killed them

D. Selective use of evidence while filing charges

E. Manufacturing false evidence using threats and intimidation

F. Islamophobic behavior and language during interrogations.


We urge all global actors invested in human rights to:

  1. Call on Indian authorities to release all human rights defenders, students. and persons held in pre-trial detention without sufficient evidence.
  2. Call on Indian authorities to carry out arrests and initiate prosecutions of political leaders against whom there is clear evidence of incitement and abetment to violence.
  3. Send written communications to the Government of India to place on record that Delhi Police is using coercive. discriminatory methods during interrogations and seek assurance that Delhi Police will be ordered to desist from coercion during interrogations towards extracting statements and enlisting approvers in order to implicate senior activists, with immediate effect.
  4. Send written communications to the Government of India seeking the assurance that Delhi Police will investigate all offences related to the February 2020 violence free of any extraneous influences or illegal coercive tactics. and levy charges on any persons only on the basis of evidence and not predetermined spurious ‘conspiracy’ theories.
  5. Call for an independent impartial inquiry into the role of the Delhi Police, including allegations related to failure to prevent the violence, aiding and perpetrators, and up to the current failures to fairly investigate offences.

“No riot can last for more than 24 hour without the consent of the state”

Vibhuti Narain Rai, IPS officer speaking to Teesta Setalvad, 1995

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