Updated: September 28, 2021 7:28:30 am
THE DELHI High Court, in a bail order on Monday, said the Northeast Delhi riots “did not take place in a spur of the moment” and that the conduct of protesters as per videos visibly portrays that it was a calculated attempt to “dislocate the functioning” of the government as well as to disrupt the city’s normal life.
“The systematic disconnection and destruction of the CCTV cameras also confirms the existence of a pre-planned and premeditated conspiracy to disturb law and order in the city. This is also evident from the fact that innumerable rioters ruthlessly descended with sticks, dandas, bats, etc upon a hopelessly outnumbered cohort of police officials,” said Justice Subramonium Prasad in the order, while denying bail to an accused who was arrested last year by Delhi Police for allegedly being part of an anti-CAA protests during which Head Constable Ratan Lal sustained fatal injuries.
The accused, Mohd Ibrahim, was allegedly holding a sword during the protest. His counsel had argued that Lal’s death was not caused by the sword as per the report detailing his injuries, and that the accused carried the sword only to protect himself and his family. The court said that “clinching evidence” tilts towards prolonging the accused’s incarceration as the weapon carried by him “is capable of causing grievous injuries and/or death, and is prima facie a dangerous weapon”.
“This Court is of the opinion that even though the Petitioner cannot be seen at the scene of 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,” said Justice Prasad.
Justice Prasad had on September 8 granted bail to five accused and observed that “the sole act of protesting” cannot be used as “a weapon to justify the incarceration” of those exercising this right.
In the order passed on Monday, the court said, “This Court has previously opined on the importance of personal liberty in a democratic polity, but it is to be categorically noted that 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”.
The court has denied bail to three accused in the case and ordered the release eight, including one Mohd Saleem Khan who was granted bail on Monday after 17 months of incarceration.
Police have alleged that the accused were among the protesters who had assembled near the Chand Bagh area and 25 Futa Road on February 24, 2020.
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