Delhi Riots: Court Dismisses Bail Plea of Man in IB Official’s Murder Case


PTI, Oct 22, 2020, 8:20 PM IST

New Delhi: A Delhi court Thursday dismissed the bail plea of a man arrested in connection with the murder of Intelligence Bureau (IB) official Ankit Sharma during the communal violence in north-east Delhi in February. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said it was apparent on record from the statements of several witnesses that accused Sameer Khan and other similarly placed persons had been instigated on communal lines by the main accused Tahir Hussain, as a consequence they were lying charged to attack all and sundry from the other community. Hussain, former AAP Councillor, is in judicial custody in the case.

The court said there was enough material on record at this stage which clearly identified Khan to be part of the riotous mob, which had indulged in arson, looting and vandalizing public and private property and chanting communal slogans and attacking the persons of other community. In my considered opinion, we are at ‘pre-cognizance /pre-committal stage’ in the matter and at this stage, the court considering the bail matter has to consider the material collected by the investigating agency at its face value and at this stage, ‘mini trial’ cannot take place.

It is clearly apparent that the CDR (call detail record) location of the mobile phone, allegedly being used by the applicant (Khan) was at or around the scene of occurrence on the date of incident. It is not at all the case of the applicant that the mobile does not belong to him, the judge said in his order.

During the hearing, Khan’s counsel said that he was falsely implicated in the matter and there was an unexplained delay in registration of the FIR in the case. No recovery of any fire-arm or any weapon has been effected from Khan and the witness, who identified Khan to be part of the riotous mob, was planted.

Special Public Prosecutor Manoj Chaudhary, appearing for the police, said that offences against Khan were serious in nature and he may threaten the public witness in the case if released on bail as they were from the same locality. The public prosecutor further argued that Khan’s CDR location was corroborative evidence against him and since almost every CCTV footage was broken down by the rioters, Khan could not be captured in any footage.

Delhi Police had, in its charge sheet filed in June, alleged there was a deep rooted conspiracy behind Sharma’s murder as he was specifically targeted by a mob led by Hussain. According to the charge sheet, the autopsy had revealed that there were 51 sharp injuries on his body and the way Sharma was killed by the cold blooded rioters has shaken the social fabric of the society and instilled a fear in the minds of the residents of the area.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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