By Arré Bench Jun. 19, 2020
The latest name to appear in the Delhi Riots chargesheet is DS Bindra, a Sikh man who became a familiar face during the February protests after he set up a langar at Shaheen Bagh. The news was met with outrage from some sections on social media.
Months after the streets of Delhi erupted in violence, leaving over 50 people dead and 200 injured, the police continue to file chargesheets against anti-CAA protestors.
The latest name to appear in this list is DS Bindra, a Sikh man who became a familiar face during the February protests after he set up a langar at Shaheen Bagh to make sure all protestors were fed. A few reports said he had sold his house for the cause.
Now in a chargesheet, filed by the Delhi police in the death of constable Ratan Lal, Bindra has been accused along with others for organising the Delhi riots. Significantly, The Quint reported, he hasn’t been accused of any violence, including killing the constable.
If you remember DS Bindra, the Sikh man who sold his flat to set up langar for Muslims protesting against the citizenship amendment act, you should know that he has been rewarded for doing so.
— Phone Waale Baba Ji (@iJasOberoi) June 17, 2020
“What wrong have I committed? Is serving langar a crime,” he asked on Thursday, denying both allegations that he took part in violence and that he was the main organiser of the protests.
“As I told you, I just put up a langar. This is part of my Sikh faith. People from every community ate at the langar without discrimination,” he said.
The police however say that they have based their allegations on a number of testimonies, including that of two police officers who were posted in the area.
The news was met with outrage from some sections on social media with several, including Umar Khalid, saying he was being framed.
“I only did what my faith taught me, what our Gurus taught us. I don’t understand why I am being targeted because of that” – DS Bindra after the charge sheet filed by Delhi Police regarding Delhi riots mentioned his name.https://t.co/dT8ONd4p7R
— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) June 18, 2020
The journalist who broke the story said a lot was upsetting about the chargesheet, including the police’s supposed evidence that Bindra had instigated violence.
Lot is upsetting about police’s allegations against DS Bindra. But one thing stood out: their theory that Bindra (allegedly) telling Muslims about 1984 amounts to “instigating violence”.
Not surprising police doesn’t want minorities to talk about 1984
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) June 18, 2020
He said Bindra was paying the price for his humanity.
Clearly the biggest fear of this govt is if minorities begin helping each other. DS Bindra is paying the price for his humanity https://t.co/d4fsVA7HXL
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) June 17, 2020
A professor urged citizens to show solidarity in these trying times, and offered to help Bindra in any way he can.
We must stand shoulder to shoulder with each other as the state hunts it’s own citizens.
If anyone has DS Bindra’s details please DM me. I would like to help in any way I can. https://t.co/gTYxDSjY9Z
— Ali Khan Mahmudabad (@Mahmudabad) June 18, 2020
While the police continue to carry out their investigations into a possible motive, Bindra was quoted as saying that his only “motive was love and brotherhood”. “Instead of recognising our efforts, we are being maligned,” he said.
In February, Bindra had been on the receiving end of a lot of praise for the generosity displayed by setting up the langar. Bindra was also very vocal about his stand against the CAA, and went live on Facebook regularly from Shaheen Bagh to share his views.
Advocate DS Bindra is a prominent person at Shaheen Bagh where he has been running a langar for several days now. Bindra even sold his flat to arrange cash for langar. Watch the video to find out more.#NewsMo #Vertical pic.twitter.com/tKXBGStR9d
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) February 13, 2020
DS Bindra, a Sikh man, has sold his flat to raise money to provide free food at #ShaheenBagh. He has sacrificed so much to fight for the preservation of an inclusive India. BJP can try all they want, but they won’t succeed in dividing us Indians!https://t.co/jROQMELf7F
— Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) February 10, 2020
With the police now naming him in the chargesheet, and a number of social media commenters attempting to link him to opposition parties, the debate over his role is not likely to die down soon. Let’s hope he gets the justice he deserves.