Udayavni Special

Delhi Riots: Court Dismisses Bail Plea of Man in Rahul Solanki Murder Case


PTI, Nov 30, 2020, 7:00 PM IST

A Delhi court has dismissed a bail application of a man in a murder case related to the February north east Delhi riots, saying prima facie he was allegedly part of the “riotous mob” that had caused vandalism, arson and looting in the area. The case relates to the killing of a local, Rahul Solanki, during the communal violence that broke out after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control on February 24. The riots left at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav dismissed the bail application of Sonu Saifi in the case related to the death of Rahul Solanki due to gunshot injuries from firing from the riotous mob in the Dayalpur area of north east Delhi.

The court noted that though Saifi was not visible in any of the CCTV camera footage available on record, the victim’s brother Rohit Solanki, who is a public witness, in his statement has not only categorically identified the accused by his name but has also stated about his profession of being a “welder”. The statement of the witness “cannot be thrown into dustbin”, the court said. The court cannot lose sight of an epochal development in the matter, which is the recovery of a firearm (a country-made pistol) along with four live cartridges at the instance of the accused, it said The court also said that as per a ballistic expert’s report of the firearm, it was found to be in “working condition”.

“From the statement of public/eye witness Rohit Solanki, dated March 8, 2020, it is prima facie apparent that the applicant (Sonu Saifi) was part of the ‘riotous mob’, which had caused vandalism, arson and looting in the area, and due to firing from the said mob, deceased Rahul Solanki got hit and later on died,” it said.

“The applicant has not only been categorically identified by PW (prosecution witness) Rahul Solanki by his name, but he has also stated about the profession of applicant being a ‘welder’ and a famous character in the locality/area,” the court said. “This court is conscious of the fact that applicant is not visible in any of the CCTV footage(s) made available on record, however, at this stage, the statement of PW Rahul Solanki dated March 8, 2020, whereby he has not only categorically identified the applicant by his name but has also stated about his profession of being a ‘welder’ cannot be thrown into dustbin on this sole account,” the court said in its order passed on November 25.

Regarding the contention of Saifi’s counsel that Rohit Solanki in his initial statement, dated February 26, had not named the accused, the court said the witness could be under tremendous mental shock, pain and agony on account of sudden death of his brother and certain amount of “cool off period” was usually required by any human being in such an extraordinary situation to regain his composure. It said that it is not expected from a man of common prudence to give a fine blow-by-blow account of the incident in such a situation.

“Further investigation in the matter is going on. Public witness(es) in the matter are residents of the same locality and the possibility of applicant (Saifi) threatening or intimidating them, if released on bail at this stage cannot be ruled out,” the court said. During the hearing, Saifi’s counsel said he has been falsely implicated in the case and was not visible in any CCTV camera footage.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, opposed the bail plea saying the investigation of the case was in progress and many persons who were allegedly part of the “riotous mob” need to be identified and arrested, and there was every chance that if released on bail, Saifi may threaten the public witnesses in the case.

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