Court grants bail to four accused in riots case after police fail to produce evidence

A local court has granted bail to four persons accused of arson and looting shops of minority community during the north-east Delhi riots in Bhajanpura, noting that the police have failed to produce evidence against them.

A total of eight persons: Neeraj, Manish, Amit Goswami, Sunil Sharma, Sonu Kumar, Rakesh, Mukesh, and Shyam Patel were named in 10 different FIRs for rioting, arson and loot .

The court granted bail to Sonu Kumar and Mukesh on furnishing a bond of ₹20,000 and ₹25,000, respectively, with one surety of like amount in each of the 10 cases. The court also asked them to share their mobile numbers with the SHO of Bhajanpura police station upon their release and keep their phones in working condition. It also asked them to get Aarogya Setu App installed on their phones.

Lawyer Saroj Kumar Jha, who is representing several accused in riots cases, said Shyam Patel, Mukesh and Sonu Kumar were granted bail a few days after their arrest but were released after three months as they were unable to deposit surety bonds.

He said the fourth accused, Sunil Sharma, who too got bail is still in jail as he is unable to deposit surety bonds. Mr. Jha said the bails came after the police failed to produce any direct evidence such as mobile video, CCTV footage to prove the presence of the accused persons at the crime spots.

‘Common witness’

“In all the FIRs, the witness is common. How can it be possible for a single policeman to be present at all crime spots in the area at the same time,” Mr. Jha said, adding that the police framed the men as they are poor.

Mukesh is a rickshaw puller, Shyam a vegetable vendor, Sonu works as a dishwasher at a restaurant and Sunil is a daily wage worker.

The police claim to have recovered women’s undergarments, cosmetics, massage machines and bangles from Amit’s possession on his disclosure that he had looted a shop belonging to one Gulshan Hussain during the riots. The other men sold the looted goods and spent the money on consumable items, an officer said.

A constable, who is the eyewitness in the case, said that on February 24, he was on duty in Bhajanpura when he saw 70-80 people — armed with iron rods, sticks and kerosene oil — chanting Jai Shree Ram slogans.

The crowd broke open a closed laundry shop, which belonged to a Muslim man, and set it on fire.

The crowd targeted more shops in the area, the constable had stated. He later identified eight people who were part of the crowd.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 12:57:00 PM |

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