Delhi riots: ‘Sorry state of affairs’ says court after no progress in probe



NEW DELHI: “This is really a sorry state of affairs,” a Delhi court said on Tuesday, coming down heavily on the police for showing no progress in the investigation of a riots case months after registering the FIR.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav made the remarks after he was apprised that no progress has been made in the investigation of a case registered in June 2021 on the complaint of one Nasir Ahmed and even the persons named in the FIR have not been interrogated.

“This is really a sorry state of affairs,” ASJ Yadav said, adding that this case has not gotten the attention of either the Delhi Police Commissioner or the newly-constituted Special Investigation Cell (SIC) tasked to monitor the probe in the riots cases.

He noted that the police is claiming that the circumstances during the riots in February 2020 and four weeks thereafter were difficult, followed by a pandemic due to which it could not investigate the cases properly.

“I wonder whether the police can take the same excuse qua the investigation of the case, PS Gokalpuri. The answer has to be ‘clear No’,” ASG Yadav said.

He directed the prosecutor to tell the court about the probe carried by the police on the next date of hearing and asked the copy of the order be sent to the Commissioner of Police for his reference and to take appropriate steps.

Nasir Ahmed, a resident of Delhi’s Bhagirathi Vihar area, claimed that he witnessed the communal riots on February 24 and 25 and identified various persons out of a mob of 200-250 persons, who were rioting near Gokalpuri toll-tax.

He claimed that on February 24, the mob put up a loud public address system and exhorted people to vandalize, rob, and put on fire the houses and shops of persons belonging to the other community while asserting that the police were with them.

He said that the mob allegedly stopped the persons passing through that area and if found to be from the other community, they inflicted injuries upon them and burned their vehicles.

On February 25, he claimed that the mob put his godown and three bikes on fire.

He further said that on both dates, he made several calls to the police, but to no avail.

Ahmed then made several complaints to the police, but no action was taken.

He also received threats, following which the witness protection committee of the district asked the police to provide protection to him.

He was then constrained to approach the High Court where for the first time the prosecutor said that his complaint dated March 18 had been clubbed with two different cases.

Subsequently, Ahmed approached the district court seeking registration of a separate FIR in his case and not to treat his complaint as part of another case.

The metropolitan magistrate allowed his plea on October 26 and directed the police to register the FIR.

The police, however, challenged the order which was dismissed by ASJ Yadav on April 26.

They were asked to register a separate FIR, which was done in June, almost two months after the court directions.

The court will now hear the matter on October 22 on the point of charge.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi in February 2020, after violence between the Citizenship (Amendment) Act supporters and its protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

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