22 October 2021 9:20

Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots were “preplanned conspiracy to dislocate functioning of Government”: Delhi High Court

“A preplanned and pre-meditated conspiracy to disturb law and order in the city”.

Delhi High court while rejecting the bail application of Mohd Ibrahim (one of the accused in the Delhi riots case relating to the murder of Police Head Constable Ratan Lal) said riots “evidently did not take place in a spur of the moment.”

Hon Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that the riots which shook the national capital of India in February 2020, “the conduct of the protestors visibly portrays that it was a calculated attempt to dislocate the functioning of the Government as well as to disrupt the normal life of the people in the city”.

The single-judge bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad further observed that the systematic disconnection and destruction of the CCTV cameras also confirms the existence of,

a preplanned and pre-meditated conspiracy to disturb law and order in the city”. 

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The bench said this was evident from the fact that innumerable rioters ruthlessly descended with sticks, dandas, bats etc. upon a “hopelessly outnumbered cohort of police officials.”

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Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots 2020; Picture Source: Twitter

The court was of the opinion that even though the petitioner was not seen at the scene of the crime, he clearly was a part of the mob for the sole reason that,

“the Petitioner had consciously travelled 1.6 km away from his neighbourhood with a sword which could only be used to incite violence and inflict damage.” 

In light of this, the court also rejected Ibrahim’s stand that he was brandishing a sword in personal defence and for the safety of his family. The court observed that this was doubtful as he was at least 1.6 km away from his place of residence and was in no imminent danger.

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Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots 2020; Picture Source: Twitter

With regard to the right to personal liberty and the right to protest, the court said that in a democratic society “individual liberty cannot be misused in a manner that threatens the very fabric of civilised society by attempting to destabilise it and cause hurt to other persons.”

With regard to the right to personal liberty and the right to protest, the court said that in a democratic society “individual liberty cannot be misused in a manner that threatens the very fabric of civilised society by attempting to destabilise it and cause hurt to other persons.”

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Delhi Police Head Constable Ratan Lal, who was killed in the Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots 2020

The court also said that the footage of the petitioner with the sword is “quite egregious”, and is therefore sufficient to keep the Petitioner in custody.

“In view of the facts and circumstances of the cases, without commenting on the merits of the matter, this Court is of the opinion that the Petitioner is not to be granted bail,”

said the Court.
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Eleven accused had filed bail applications before the Delhi High Court in the same case.

On September 14, the court had granted bail tShahnawaz and Mohd Ayyub and dismissed the bail application of Sadiq and Irshad Ali also accused in the same case.

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Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots 2020; Picture Source: Twitter

Facts

The facts leading to the case are that on Feb 24, 2020, at about 01:00 PM, the protestors had mobilized near the Chand Bagh area and 25 Futa Road, and were moving towards the Main Wazirabad Road.

When they assembled near Main Wazirabad Road, it is stated that the complainant and other police officers present attempted to convince the protestors to not move towards the Main Wazirabad Road.

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Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots 2020; Picture Source: Twitter

It is stated that though the ACP Gokalpuri and DCP Shahdara warned the protestors via loudspeaker of a government vehicle, that lack of adherence to legal warnings would necessitate strict action against the crowd, some people amongst the crowd started pelting stones and beat them with weapons that had been hidden.

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Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots 2020; Picture Source: Twitter

This resulted in injuries to several police officers on duty and one of the Head Constable Ratan Lal succumbed to injuries.

The Court was of the view that the sole act of protesting should not be employed as a weapon to justify the incarceration of those who are exercising this right.

Disclaimer
: With kind inputs from @LiveBeat

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