Delhi riots: Court frames rioting, attempt to murder charges against man who pointed gun at cop

Shahrukh Pathan’s counsel had argued for discharge, submitting that he did not kill the policeman despite having the opportunity, and instead fired in the air.

Sharukh Pathan was photographed pointing a gun at a Delhi Police head constable during the northeast Delhi riots. (File)

A Delhi court has framed charges related to rioting and attempt to murder against Shahrukh Pathan, the man who had allegedly pointed a gun at a police officer during the Northeast Delhi riots.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat framed the charges against Pathan while stating that head constable Deepak Dahiya, “in the face of such attack of accused resolutely stood his ground and even showed his danda in front of a gun-wielding accused and showed his devotion to duty and work which might have played into the mind of accused Shahrukh Pathan”.

Pathan’s counsel had argued for discharge, submitting that he did not kill the policeman despite having the opportunity, and instead fired in the air.

On this, the court stated: “In any event, this incident occurred in a flash of seconds and to diminish the valour of a brave policeman by arguing it as an act of magnanimity of accused Shahrukh Pathan in not killing the policeman victim, is neither palatable nor legally sound.”

The court said that it was quite apparent that Pathan led a group of rioters, attempted to end Dahiya’ life, and obstructed and used criminal force on a public servant on February 24, 2020.

The judge charged Pathan under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of duty), and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code. Charges were also framed under Sections 353 (assault), 307 (attempt to murder) read with section 149 (member of unlawful assembly guilty of a common offence) of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act, to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

Besides Pathan, the judge also framed charges against four more accused — Kaleem Ahmad, Ishtiyak Malik, Shamim, and Abdul Shehzad.

The court noted that the “intention to kill the policeman was clearly made out from the statement given by Dahiya that Pathan aimed at his head and fired but he managed to escape”.

“Even as per the video footage, the accused raised his pistol (not sideways but straight) aiming at the victim who is taller in height than him, but the direction of the pistol is certainly aimed at the head of head constable Deepak Dahiya,” the court said.

It added, “Usually after firing or pulling the trigger, there is a jerk, and the hands and pistol are raised because of it. Thus, even the video shows that firing by the accused Shahrukh Pathan from the pistol in daylight was with an aim to kill Dahiya.”

On the alleged discrepancies in the statements made by the policeman, the court pointed out that this will be looked into at the stage of trial.

While denying any relief, the court also noted that it was not an ordinary case of groups committing an unlawful act, but “riots of such a nature as has not been witnessed since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984”.

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