A Delhi court Monday denied bail to suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, accused in the murder of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma during the Northeast Delhi riots, observing that “he did not use his hands and fists, but rioters as ‘human weapons’ who, on his instigation, could have killed anybody”.
The bail order was dismissed by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, who stated that the possibility of witnesses being threatened if Hussain was released on bail cannot be ruled out.
“Therefore, at this stage, I find that there is enough material on record to presume that the applicant was very well present at the spot of crime and was exhorting the rioters of a particular community,” the order read.
The court said that the investigation is still under progress as some people are yet to be apprehended. Statements of two persons were recorded by the Crime Branch on July 7, “who have stated about the conspiracy of communal riots hatched at the residence of the applicant (Hussain) on February 24”, the court noted.
ASJ Yadav further stated: “From the aforesaid conspectus of facts, I find that the riots in the area of Northeast Delhi were carried out in an organised manner and as part of a deep-rooted conspiracy, and the involvement of the applicant is being investigated upon with regard to his connection with members of PFI, Pinjra Tod, Jamia Coordination Committee, United Against Hate Group and anti-CAA protesters. That is, however, subject matter of another FIR as well as the proceedings being conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).”
The court also clarified that anything stated about the order was based prima facie on analysis of material available, “which is yet to be tested on the touchstone of trial”.
Tahir’s counsel, K K Manan and Uditi Bali, argued that there is no evidence collected by the police either by way of videos or CCTV footage to prove he was present at the scene of the crime at the time of the incident.
The court stated, “This argument again does not hold water in the teeth of the statements of eyewitnesses on record. There is evidence on record that rioters had broken all CCTVs in the vicinity… Even if there is no video footage or CCTV footage showing the presence of the applicant at the spot, there is enough ocular evidence available on record.”
Ankit’s body was found dumped in a drain in Chand Bagh on February 26. A day later, based on his father Ravinder’s complaint, Delhi Police had filed an FIR against Hussain on charges of murder, destruction of evidence and abduction. He was later arrested.
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