Riots: four near identical FIRs, chargesheets in one incident

Firemen douse a blaze in north-east Delhi on February 26.  

Four FIRs and their corresponding chargesheets, which were filed by the Delhi Police, have been found to be identical and allegedly pertain to only one incident of rioting and damage of property in Jaffrabad during the north-east Delhi riots.

According to the documents — accessed by The Hindu — the police have made arrests in these cases based on the “confession” of a person who, in turn, has been held in another case of rioting near Cresent Public School.

In FIR number 112, the complainant — Balbir Singh from Ghonda Village — said that he left for his residence from his property T-210 on Maujpur main road on February 24 at 8 p.m. The next day, when he returned at 10 a.m., he saw that his property had been set ablaze. The incident happened near Victor Public School.

The complainant called the fire department with a unique number ‘926225’, as mentioned in all documents. He stated that his estimated loss is about ₹8-12 lakh.

In FIR number 113, the complainant’s name is Lalit Kumar. The property number is changed to T-209B and the estimated loss is of ₹8-10 lakh. In FIR number 107, the complainant is Sheesh Pal whose property address is also T-209B and the only change is of the estimated loss – ₹7-10 lakh.

In FIR number 106, the complainant is Rakesh Kumar — son of Balbir Singh — who said the estimated loss was ₹8-10 lakh. All the complainants are related to each other and own the said properties. The police had also added sections of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act in FIRs 112 and 113 but not in FIRs 106 and 107.

In these four cases, the documents state that the police arrested five persons — Gulfam alias Sonu Chikna, Osama, Atir, Shanu alias Shan Mohammed, and Zarif alias Mota.

In a chargesheet, its stated that Lalit Kumar said when he was leaving the street where the properties were set ablaze, he saw rioters and heard them saying that they will commit arson. He said he could idenitfy a few of them. Interestingly, in the corresponding FIR, it is mentioned that he had left at 8 p.m. and returned only at 10 a.m. the next day. Further, the document stated that a Sub-Inspector, who was investigating FIR number 50 registered in connection with riots near Cresent Public School, had arrested a man named Gulfam.

In his confession, Gulfam said he was involved in riots and arson near Victor Public School along with Osama and Atir. The document states that Gulfam then took the police to a street in Jaffrabad where Atir and Osama were standing, following which they were nabbed. Atir and Osama then revealed the names of Shan Mohammed and Zarif, the document stated.

The document also states that Kumar and an Assistant Sub-Inspector identified the three men for committing arson. According to the document, on April 7, it was revealed that Welcome Police Station staff had arrested Mohammed and Zarif in another case. Later, the two were formally arrested in this case on April 8 and 9, respectively, while they were in judicial custody.

The police, in FIR number 50, have mentioned that Gulfam was arrested at 7.10 p.m. However, according to the earlier chargesheets, the two other accused were arrested at 6.10 p.m. But, according to police, it was after his statement that police arrested Osama and Atir.

An advocate privy to the case said under Article 20 (2) of the Constitution, no person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offense more than once. Questioning the documents, he asked: “If Gulfam was arrested at 7.10 p.m., how could Osama and Atir be arrested on his instance an hour earlier?”

It is worth noting that, in all the four chargesheets, the time of arrest for Gulfam is mentioned as 4 p.m.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 11:18:43 AM |

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