A Delhi court has framed charges against five men for unlawful assembly, rioting and the murder of four people, who were brought to GTB Hospital and declared brought dead. It was found that these four had been injured during the communal riots that had erupted in Northeast Delhi on February 24, 2020 subsequent to the violence that broke out surrounding the anti-CAA protests.
A single-judge bench of Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat framed charges against all five men, namely Ashok Kumar, Ajay @Monu, Subham, Arif @Mota, and Jitender Kumar, under Sections 144 (joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (unlawful assembly) and Section 302 (murder), Section 149 read with Section 34 IPC against the four accused.
“It appears that the accused developed the common intention to kill the accused at the spur of the moment during the riotous clashes between their community and the person belonging to another community,” the bench noted while framing charges against the accused.
The bench stated, “There is no escape from the conclusion at this stage that the accused were members of an unlawful assembly, the object of which was to cause riots, vandalism, destruction of property etc. and were part of the riotous mob which killed the deceased, Zakir. They were identified by the eyewitness and have been specifically named by him. Electronic evidence produced along with the chargesheet shows their presence at the place of incident and in the the mob.”
Although, no charge of criminal conspiracy was made against the accused persons as there was no material on record to suggest that the deceased Zakir was killed in pursuance to any conspiracy hatched by the accused.
Further, the bench concluded, “The material on record prima-facie discloses commission of offence of rioting, murder etc. by the accused. It is evident that if the evidence collected during the course of investigation and annexed to the charge-sheet remains unrebutted the conviction of the accused is reasonably possible. No case for their discharge has been made out,” the court observed,
The bench observed, “When the eye witness reached main road, he saw large number of Hindus gathered near Chawla Store outside Gali No. 10 main Brijpuri Road and a crowd consisting of Muslims near Farooqui Masjid on the side of Brijpuri Pulia who were raising slogans against the CAA/NRC and were armed with weapon rods, swords etc. The Hindus in the crowd were also armed with rods, scissors, swords etc. He knew some of those namely Monu, Deepak, Subham, Rahul, Jitender, Praveen etc. He knew Arif @ Mota who was present in the crowd consisting of Muslims and was leading them,”
When the Muslims outnumbered Hindus, the later retracted and the Muslim rioters set ablaze the houses and shops belonging to Hindus. They also beat some boys near Chawla Store. He stated that when he reached the police picket near Aggarwal Sweet with the help of the police, he saw that some rioters had caught hold of a boy and were beating him mercilessly by rods, stones, kicks, fists etc. and that boy fell down injured on that very spot.”
The court found the arguments to be baseless “As per the site plan placed on record along with charge-sheet, there is a distance of approximately 100 meters only between the spot near Gali No. 10 and Brijpuri Pulia…,hence any person with a mobile phone even if standing within the radial distance of more than 100 meters from any mobile phone tower would catch the signal from that tower which implies that any person with a mobile phone standing near Gali No. 10 would definitely catch signal from the mobile phone tower erected near or around Brijpuri Pulia. Hence, the presence of the witness at the spot of incident cannot be doubted at this stage merely on the basis of his location which comes out from analysis of the CDR of his mobile phone,”
As per the case of the prosecution four persons namely Mehtab S/o Sh.Munna Khan, Ashfaq Hussain S/o Sh Agaz Hussain, Zakir S/o Sh. Shabbir Ahmad and Jamil S/o Sh. Samsul Haq were brought to GTB Hospital on 26.02.2020 in the evening hours in injured and unconscious state. Upon examination by the Doctors, all the four were declared brought dead. Upon local enquiry, it was found that the these four persons had got injured during communal riots that had erupted in North-East, Delhi on February 24, 2020 subsequent to Anti CAA protests. Accordingly, an FIR was registered at PS Dayalpur on February 28,2020.