After a man who suffered property damage during the Northeast Delhi riots told the High Court that he was being threatened to take back his complaint, which also accuses BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal of giving a hate speech, police have assured that the “beat staff has been briefed to remain in touch with the complainant”. Police also told the court that his complaint has been clubbed with an FIR lodged in another riots case.
The Delhi Police’s contention was made before Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, during the hearing of a plea by a readymade garments trader, Nishar Ahmed, whose shop and house were allegedly looted on February 25.
Ahmed approached the High Court seeking directions to the Delhi Police Commissioner to register an FIR at Gokulpuri Police Station (PS) based on his complaints dated March 4, 18 and 23.
Through his advocate M R Shamshad, he also sought police protection for himself and his family members, alleging that they are being harassed and threatened almost daily to take back his complaint.
Additional Standing Counsel (ASC) Richa Kapoor, appearing for the Delhi Police, apprised the bench that Ahmed’s complaint was received by the police, in which he has “alleged that the shutter of his shop/godown was broken by rioters…”
Kapoor submitted that “he (Ahmed) made allegations against Michale, Mongli and Tinku, and other unknown persons”.
“Accordingly, this complaint was clubbed with case FIR No. 78/20, under section 147(rioting)/148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon)/149 (unlawful assembly)/380 (theft) /427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of IPC at Gokulpuri PS.
“During investigation, section 436 (whoever commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance)/ 454 (lurking house-trespass) of IPC has been added in this case and accused Dinesh Yadav alias Michale… was arrested on June 3. Further investigation is going on in this case,” the police said in their status report.
Kapoor further submitted that the “petitioner has been made witness in three other FIRs…”
Police also submitted that the “beat staff has been briefed to remain in touch with the complainant and to exchange their mobile number, including SHO Gokulpuri’s…”
“In case we receive any complaint regarding threat to him, action will be taken as per law,” it stated.
Taking note, the High Court in its order passed on July 1 said, “Accordingly, ASC is directed to furnish complete chargesheet of three other FIRs wherein petitioner has been made prosecution witness, and copy of FIR No.78/2020 registered at PS Gokulpuri…” It then disposed of the plea.
Ahmed’s counsel Shamshad told The Indian Express that “an FIR of a third person of general nature of loot (without naming any accused there in) has been made the lead FIR, with which Ahmed’s FIR of such a serious nature (which has named accused) has been clubbed”.
“This is just a diversionary tactic to protect the accused named in Ahmed’s FIR,” Shamshad alleged.
Ahmed, in his complaint to the police in March, alleged that from his rooftop on February 24, he could see “Kanhaiya Lal, who was exhorting inflammatory speeches on the sound system set up by Vikas (Kashyap), and he (Lal) said things like come together all the Hindus, come out of your homes, support the CAA and send these Muslims out of Bhagirathi Vihar… kill the Muslims, capture their houses, loot their houses.”
Lal, when contacted, said: “Police are examining the matter; let them look into it.”
Ahmed’s plea before the High Court alleged that around 9.30 am on February 25, a “large crowd of about 200 people” came to his shop and looted “stock worth about Rs 10 lakhs”.
“His three motorcycles, an Enfield Bullet, a Bajaj Platina and a Hero Splendor were dragged out to the road and set ablaze. A large heavy trunk containing his daughter in law’s jewelry and other personal effects from her marriage to the petitioner’s son was also looted…,” it said.
The plea further stated that “after the incident, the petitioner’s sister and her family fled the area fearing grave physical danger… Moreover, Kanhaiya Lal, councilor (BJP), is key in making various accused call the petitioner herein and calling him to the Bhagirathi Vihar area on some pretext or the other.”
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