Riots case: HC rebukes police for arresting 3 men with ‘no evidence’

‘Hard to believe accused used riots to cause death of man from own community’

Published - February 20, 2021 12:26 am IST - New Delhi

The case relates to arrest of three men in connection with the death of one Shahid during the north-east Delhi riots.

The case relates to arrest of three men in connection with the death of one Shahid during the north-east Delhi riots.

In a scathing remark over the way a north-east Delhi riots case has been investigated, the High Court on Friday rebuked Delhi Police for arresting three men from the minority community and objecting to their bail with “no evidence whatsoever, either direct or circumstantial or forensic”.

The case relates to the arrest of three men — Junaid, Chand Mohan and Irshad — in connection with the death of one Shahid, who died after suffering gunshot injury on the rooftop of Saptarishi building during the riots.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted bail to the trio, who were arrested sometime around April last year, noting, “it is hard to believe that a communal riot can be used by the petitioners to cause death of a person of their own community”.

‘Long-distance firing’

The court said the analysis of the gunshot injury showed that there was no blackening, singeing or tattooing seen around the wound, which established the fact that it was neither a contact wound nor a short-distance wound.

“Rather it was a wound caused by long-distance firing, which indicates it was a distant shot fired from any building in front of Saptarishi and is at a distance, or it was fired from Mohan Nursing Home,” the court said.

Post-mortem report

“In the video submitted by the prosecution, it has been categorically shown how some anti-social elements were firing gunshots using a rifle from the roof of Mohan Nursing Home towards Saptarishi building and at other places. In the post-mortem report, the direction of the entry wound has been given to be from the left side, which is going downwards and exiting from the right side. This means that the injury was from a height and at a distant range , thus, it establishes the possibility that the bullet came from Mohan Nursing home or any building which is on the left side of the Saptarishi building,” Justice Kait said.

The video submitted by the prosecution is from NDTV channel, in which journalist Ravish Kumar can be heard saying that a person is firing a rifle from Mohan Nursing Home and is wearing a helmet, and there is another man covering the weapon with handkerchief.

“Later on, they [mob] can be seen in the videos as well. But the investigating agency seems to have concentrated only on one side of the building although it is an admitted case of prosecution that rioters from both sides were pelting stones at each other and firing,” Justice Kait said, adding: “Further, in this video, the firing is seen to be done only from Mohan Nursing Home and not from the Saptarishi building.”

The court additionally took note of the submission of Delhi Police that the main assailant who caused gunshot injury to Shahid is yet to be arrested.

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