Updated: September 16, 2021 1:39:59 pm
A Delhi court Thursday framed charges of murder against five men accused of killing a Muslim man and burning his body during the northeast Delhi riots, taking note of his brother’s blow-by-blow account.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav framed charges against the accused — Lakhpat Rajora, Lalit, Yogesh and two men both named Kuldeep under sections of murder, rioting, mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house and dacoity of the IPC and sections of the Arms Act.
Mohd Anwar was murdered on February 25. His brother Saleem Kassar had told the police that “a riotous mob after breaking open the doors of his house with sarias and dandas, had looted the same and thereafter set it on fire”.
He further stated that the “riotous mob had also committed murder of his elder brother namely Mohd Anwar with gunshot injury and thereafter burnt his body.” The mob also took away 17 goats from his brother’s house.
The court in his order said that the complainant in this case, Saleem Kassar, had “seen his elder brother being shot dead and his house being burnt by the riotous mob, so it was natural for him to get shattered and shocked”.
“However, by the passage of time, after gaining some composure and confidence, he has not only given a blow-by-blow account of the incident, but has also categorically identified accused Lakhpat Rajora,” court said.
The court said Kassar’s statement was also corroborated with that statement of his son and a protected witness. “At this stage, their aforesaid statements cannot be brushed aside/discarded merely because there has been some delay in recording thereof or that the complainant did not specifically name/identify the accused persons in his initial written complaint made to the police,” the court said.
The court acknowledged that “though, there is some delay in recording the statements of public witnesses in the matter, but at this stage, this Court cannot lose sight of the fact that on account of prevailing communal tension in the area, it was very difficult for the investigating agency to trace the eye/public witnesses promptly, because the people were so shocked and traumatised that it took several days for them to muster courage to come out and report the matter to the police.”
The court said “At the time of framing of charges, the FIR and the material collected by the investigating agency cannot be sieved through the cull ender of the finest gauzes to test its veracity.”
The court also took note of the fact that one country-made pistol was recovered from accused Yogesh and the “ballistic report confirmed that it was in working condition”.
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