A Delhi court has directed police to register an FIR on a complaint by a garment trader, who claimed to have witnessed burqa-clad women being killed and their bodies thrown into the Bhagirathi Vihar nala during the Northeast Delhi riots. The court also observed how police could claim the allegations were false without an investigation.
Passing the order on October 26, Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Kumar Rampuri told police to file a separate FIR on the basis of the complaint by Nisar Ahmed within five days of receiving the order.
The official death toll stands at 53, which included one woman, 85-year-old Akbari, who was charred to death.
In his complaint submitted to court through his lawyer M R Shamshad, Ahmed alleged that on February 24, some locals set up a mic and speakers and made calls for murder to a crowd of 500-600 people at Bhagirathi Vihar. He also accused the local BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal of “giving hate speeches” during the event and being the “direct cause of this violence”.
“Random passersby (were) stopped and their religion ascertained. If it was found the individual was Muslim… he was… killed with swords and agricultural implements. Some managed to escape death but were brutally beaten up… The women were not spared either. Of the very few women who were outside, any woman wearing a burqa or who otherwise looked Muslim was killed with swords. The bodies of the deceased were thrown into the Bhagirathi Vihar nala,” he alleged in the complaint.
Police, however, had registered a case of theft on the complaint by one Aas Mohammad, which was unconnected to the alleged murders, and Ahmed’s complaint was clubbed with this FIR. Ahmed, on the other hand, named 11 people, including the councillor, accusing them of threatening him to withdraw the complaint.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Lal said: “These allegations are false. He has no proof. If he has approached the court, then that’s fine. We will see what evidence he has.”
Investigating Officer sub-inspector Ashish Garg told the court the allegations levelled by Ahmed were false and that a chargesheet was filed in the theft case, and a supplementary chargesheet will be filed if any new evidence comes up.
The court, however, observed how police can be expected to investigate Ahmed’s allegations, which are different from the chargesheet. It noted that it was clear the FIR registered by police would “not cover the required proper investigation in the allegations leveled by the present complainant”.
“The court fails to appreciate how police could even claim the allegation of the applicant… seeing from his house that some burqa wearing women or (those) looking like Muslim women were killed with swords and their dead bodies thrown into Bhagirathi nala… is false and without any evidence before conducting any thorough, proper investigation… It is also noticeable that in case police find the information given by the complainant was false and motivated against any innocent person with malafide intention after proper investigation, such complainant may be taken to task… for such unlawful misdeed/commission/omission,” it said.
Police said they are yet to receive a copy of the court order.
Ahmed had first approached Gokulpuri police station on March 3, and gave a written complaint the next day. On March 18, he submitted a detailed complaint “after having recovered from the shock of losing his earthly possessions and barely escaping with his life”. He approached the Delhi High Court in July, asking about the status of his complaint and if it was converted into an FIR. Police said his case was clubbed with a theft FIR. He then approached Karkardooma court, praying that a separate FIR be registered.
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