Court: Cops accompanied illegal rally, probe if any complicity

NOTING THAT there was “utter failure” on the part of Delhi Police in stopping the unauthorised Hanuman Jayanti procession in Jahangirpuri last month that triggered communal clashes in the locality, a local court said the issue “seems to have been simply brushed aside” by senior officers — and complicity “if any” of police personnel needs to be investigated.

“The liability on the part of the concerned officials needs to be fixed so that in future no such incident takes place and the police is not complacent in preventing the illegal activities,” said Additional Sessions Judge Gagandeep Singh in an order, while referring to the third procession in the area on April 16.

A copy of the order, which was issued on May 7 rejecting a clutch of bail pleas, has been directed to be sent to the Commissioner of Police “for information and remedial compliance”.

The Rohini court noted that the sequence of events that took place on Hanuman Jayanti on April 16 and role of the local administration in preventing the incident and maintaining law and order needs to be seen. “It is fairly admitted…on behalf of the State that the last procession which was passing through, during which the unfortunate riots took place, was illegal having no prior permission from police,” said the judge.

The court further said the contents of the FIR itself show that the local staff of the police station in Jahangirpuri, led by Inspector Rajiv Ranjan, as well as other officials were “accompanying the said illegal procession” on its route instead of stopping it.

“It appears that local police, instead of performing their duty in stopping the said illegal procession in the beginning itself and dispersing the crowd, was accompanying them to the entire route which later on led to unfortunate riots between the two communities,” said ASJ Singh.

The court has made the observations in an order dismissing the bail applications of seven accused — Imteyaz, Noor Alam, Sheikh Hamid, Ahmad Ali, Sheikh Hamid, S K Sahahada, Sheikh Zahir and Ahir. The accused had argued that they had been falsely implicated and were not present at the spot on the day of the incident.

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While dismissing the bail pleas, the judge said material investigation in the case is still underway and several offenders who were allegedly involved in riots are yet to be apprehended.

“The apprehension has been expressed by the prosecution that the public witnesses will not come forward as the rioters are known criminals of the area. Therefore, the apprehension of threatening/ influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled at this stage, if the accused/ applicant is enlarged on bail at this stage. The chargesheet is yet to be filed. The allegations are serious against the accused/ applicant,” said the court.

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