A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to a man in a northeast Delhi riots case, saying he was arrested 55 days after the incident, though he was already in jail in another riots case
It was alleged that the man made a disclosure statement about his involvement in the incident while he was in jail.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav granted bail to Rashid on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount in a case related to alleged vandalism and burning of a shop by the rioters during the communal violence in Gokalpuri in February.
The court said the police opposed the bail application on the strength of categorical identification of two public witnesses but a perusal of their statements revealed that they have specifically named co-accused Shahnawaz and were silent about the role of Rashid.
It further noted that the CCTV footage relied upon by the police in the case as of February 24 but the incident was of February 25. It said there was serious doubt about the credibility of the two police witnesses in the case as they waited till April 7 to name the accused when they had allegedly seen him indulging in riots.
“Admittedly, the applicant (Rashid) has neither been named in the FIR nor there are any specific allegations against him. The prosecution, in this case, is opposing the bail application of applicant on the strength of his categorical identification by public witnesses Atul and Himanshu as also by Beat Officers namely Constable Vipin and HC Hari Babu. A perusal of the statements of public witnesses Atul and Himanshu reveals that they have specifically named co-accused Shahnawaz and are silent about the role of applicant.
“The applicant was not arrested from the spot, instead his arrest has been formally affected in the present case on April 15, 2020 (that is after a lapse of about 55 days of the date of incident) in Mandoli Jail, where the applicant was already lying lodged in case…, wherein he made disclosure statement qua his involvement in the case in hand,” the court said in its order.
It directed Rashid not to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses in the case. It also directed him to install “Aarogya Setu” app on his mobile phone.
It said the investigation in the matter was complete, the chargesheet has been filed and the trial was likely to take a long time. “Applicant (Rashid) cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob have to be identified and arrested in the matter,” the court said.
During the hearing, advocate Salim Malik, appearing for Rashid, claimed he was falsely implicated in the matter and was merely present in his shop in the area in order to protect it from the rioters.
Special Public Prosecutor D K Bhatia, appearing for the police, said Rashid was allegedly present at the spot with an unlawful assembly which was armed with stones, sticks, petrol bombs, acid bottles, and which had indulged in vandalism, chanting of slogans against a particular community, stone pelting, putting on fire the shops and houses of a particular community.
The court had on Thursday also granted bail to Riyasat Ali and suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain’s brother Shah Alam in another riots case, saying that the statements of witnesses prima facie appeared to be an “omnibus one” as they were recorded on December 15, almost after 10 months from the date of the incident.
They were granted bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount in the case related to gunshot injury received by Ajay Goswami during the riots in Dayalpur area.
Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.