The 2014 Trilokpuri communal riots may have been planned in advance, with the accused “storing stones” on their rooftops before the incident, police have stated in their first chargesheet, set to be filed in the coming days. More chargesheets could be filed in the days ahead, police sources said.
Police have named six persons, including a juvenile, as the main accused in their chargesheet accessed by The Indian Express.
A report received by police from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) had substantiated claims that one of the accused fired two rounds in the air and that the recovered cartridges were from his countrymade pistol.
Sources told The Indian Express that three cases were lodged on October 23, 25 and 26 in 2014 after clashes between Hindus and Muslims broke out in Trilokpuri, leaving at least 80 injured, including eight with bullet injuries. About 15 policemen were among those injured.
“Initially, all three cases were investigated by the District Investigation Unit (DIU) of the east district, but were eventually transferred to the eastern range of the Crime Branch in the last week of January, 2017,” sources said, adding that the arrests in the case was made by the DIU.
“Police found during their investigation that some people wanted to organise a ‘Mata ki chowki’ in the area, but others raised objections as they used to dump garbage near the spot. An argument had already taken place over this, and when the religious event was eventually held, tensions rose,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity. The trigger point, police believe, was an argument over alleged consumption of alcohol at the spot.
Police had picked up three persons, including a juvenile, from the spot who were later placed under arrest. They are currently out on bail.
“Police found used cartridges at the spot and found that one of the arrested persons had fired two rounds from his countrymade pistol. Police discovered that around 12 cases have already been registered against him at several police stations in east district in the past. The current case was registered against him under sections of rioting and the Arms Act,” sources said. Six others, whose names emerged during the probe, are yet to be tracked down, sources said.
Days after the cases were transferred, investigators finished recording statements of 20 witnesses. “Among 20 witnesses, two are officers from Mayur Vihar police station, who answered the PCR call regarding a quarrel between two groups, two are personnel from the police control room and the rest are people whose property was allegedly damaged,” sources said.
The main chargesheet will comprise 20 pages and will be accompanied by 500 pages of disclosures and the CFSL report as annexure. “The chargesheet was first sent to officers at the Delhi Police Headquarters and then to the public prosecutor for vetting. It is expected to be filed in the coming days at Karkardooma Court,” sources said.