A Delhi court has ordered framing of charges against 10 in a case related to the February 2020 anti-Hindu riots in North-East Delhi.
The court noted, “the material on record primafacie discloses that the accused were the members of an unlawful assembly on 25.02.2020 which had been formed with the object to create fear & panic amongst the people belonging to Hindu Community, to threaten them to leave the country and to cause arson, loot etc. as well as to set ablaze the shops/houses belonging to them.”
It further noted “The material on record also discloses the commission of offences of rioting, looting and setting ablaze the workshop of the complainant by the accused.”
The court of ASJ Virender Bhat ordered framing of charges under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 436 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.), 452 (house trespass), 454 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking), 392 (robbery), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) read with Section 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Mohd. Shahnawaz, Mohd. Shoaib, Shahrukh, Rashid, Azad, Ashraf Ali, Parvez, Mohd. Faisal, Rashid and Mohd. Tahir.
The complainant in this case, Jagdish Prasad, had submitted a police complaint that an auto spare parts shop run by his son Shekhar Bhardwaj at Brijpuri Road was burnt by the rioters on February 25 last year.
The incident had happened in broad daylight at 11 am. When the anti-Hindu riot started in the area a day earlier, Prasad and two others had stayed in the shop in the intervening night of February 24 & 25.
In his submission, Prasad noted “All the rioters were raising slogans against Hindus and were saying “we would throw out these infidels from the country, would kill them and would kidnap the daughters of Hindus”. The mob was raising slogans “Hindu Murdabad” and were hurling abuses.”
ASJ Virender Bhat noted, “Prima-facie, at this stage there does not appear any ground to disbelieve the version of these three witnesses.”
In a scathing remark, the court said in the concluding part “there is no escape from the conclusion at this stage that the accused were members of unlawful assembly which resorted to vandalization, rioting etc. and in the process robbed & set ablaze the workshop belonging to the complainant's son. No case for their discharge is made out. It is, thus, held that the charges u/s 147/148/436/452/454/392/427 r/w Section 149 IPC are liable to framed against all the accused.”
The next date of hearing has been set for December 21.