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Delhi riots: Bail petitions of accused rejected

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A Delhi Court on Wednesday rejected the bail pleas of Gulfisha Fatima and Tasleem Ahmed in connection with a case alleging larger conspiracy into the Delhi riots of 2020.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat passed this order while hearing a bail application filed by Gulfisha Fatima and Tasleem Ahmed involving charges under Indian Penal Code and UAPA.

Gulfisha was arrested on April 11, 2020 and was sent to judicial custody thereafter.
Tasleem Ahmed was arrested on June 24, 2020 in the present FIR and was sent to judicial custody thereafter.

The FIR contains stringent charges including Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,1984.

The accused are also charged under various offences mentioned under the IPC.

The applicant, Gulfisha and Tasleem were denied statutory bail by the Judge in the case.

The prosecution case are that while the riots were meticulously planned, there was destruction of properties, disruption of essential services, use of petrol bombs, lathis, stones etc and therefore meeting the criteria which is required under 15(1)(a)(i),(ii) and (iii) of the UAPA.

The prosecution’s states that the 2020 sit-in protests were carefully planned, picking strategic protest sites closer to 25 mosques. It was therefore submitted that these sites were places with religious significance but were purposely given Secular names to give legitimate appearance to the allegedly communal protests.

Prosecution had alleged that a total of 53 people died during the riots, 142 people were Injured in first phase of riots and other 608 were injured in the second phase.

The Prosecution had referred to a December 20, 2019 meeting which was attended by Umar Khalid with Harsh Mander, members of United Against Hate, Swatantra Nagrik Sangathan, etc. it was averred that this meeting was key in deciding the areas of protest and strategies to mitigate police clashes by keeping women at the forefront.

It was also argued that the the issue regarding the protests was not CAA or NRC but to embarrass the Government and to take such steps that it gets highlighted in the International media.

Main thrust of prosecution’s arguments was that the DPSG group was a highly sensitive group wherein every small message was privately deliberated upon and then passed forward to other members and that every decision taken was conscious and well thought over.

It was alleged that while the case of the prosecution is not that every person who surfaces in the conspiracy has to be made an accused and that merely being silent on a group does not make one an accused, however, he added that in case evidence is found against any person, criminal action has to follow.

In this backdrop, it was argued that there was a ‘conspiracy of silence’ in committing the 2020 North East Delhi riots, idea behind which was to completely put the system under paralysis.

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