The Delhi Police on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that till now 170 policemen have been interrogated related to an alleged incident of assault upon few men by the policemen during the northeast Delhi riots, which took place in February last year.
In its status report, Delhi Police has stated that mobile phones of these policemen have also been checked in order to get clue of the personnel who had shot the video in which the deceased along with other victims were made to sing ‘Jana Gana Mana’. The mobile phones were also taken for technical analysis. More policemen are being examined, said the status report.
The status report has been filed by Delhi Police in response to the petition seeking directions for the constitution of a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the alleged custodial death of Faizan.
The petition has been filed by the mother of the deceased who was allegedly detained and beaten by policemen. He had died of his injuries later.
The Delhi Police said that they have not been able to identify the police officers in the various videos and CCTV camera footage because they were wearing helmets and did not have name plates. However, in one of the video, a person in uniform is seen holding a tear gas gun and recording a video of the five men being beaten by policemen on his mobile phone. They further contended that while the person who was recording the incident was not wearing a helmet, his face was not clear as the footage was distantly shot.
The status report reads, “Policemen who were carrying tear gas guns are being questioned and one has been pinpointed on probable basis. His mobile phone has been seized and referred to the Forensic Science Laboratory, to get an opinion as to whether the said video was shot from this mobile . The opinion is still awaited. Lie Detector Test, Face Recognition and Voice Sampling of this probable policeman is being conducted through FSL expert.”
The police said,
“Furthermore, the CCTV cameras installed by individuals in the area of Kardampuri were either found broken much prior to the incident or their directions were changed. However, CCTV camera footage/video clips available on different social media and other sources as collected by the Cyber Cell of Crime Branch have been taken on record.”
During the hearing of the matter on Monday, a single-judge bench of Justice Yogesh Khana directed the Delhi Police to file an affidavit with information about the lack of CCTV camera functioning along with material evidence.
The Court has noted in its order,
“regarding prayer (c) of the main petition with regard to direction to respondent No. 3 to file an affidavit supporting all the relevant material regarding functioning of CCTV cameras of Police Station Jyoti Nagar and in particular on 24th, February, 2020 and 25th, February, 2020, let an affidavit be filed qua the functioning of said CCTV cameras along with material evidence qua its non-functioning on specific days or month, be filed before the next date of hearing with an advance copy to petitioner.”
The petitioner has alleged that her son died in Police custody on February 26 after he was brutally assaulted by police officers and detained from February 24 to February 25.
The matter would now be heard on 15th March, 2021.Kismatun