Hearing a petition filed by a Northeast Delhi riot victim, who has alleged threats by riot accused as well as assault by police personnel and men in plainclothes inside a police station, the Delhi High Court told Delhi Police that “they (the petitioner and her family) are also citizens of India” and asked them to provide additional security.
The observations were made by Justice Yogesh Khanna while hearing a petition filed by a 45-year-old woman. As per court records, the woman had filed a complaint against some persons who pelted stones and fired gunshots at her during the riots. She said she was later intimidated by the same persons, who also attacked her son, grandson and husband, to withdraw the complaint.
The petitioner asked the court to direct Delhi Police Commissioner and DCP (Northeast) to initiate disciplinary action against SHO Bhajanpura, and provide adequate protection to her and her family.
The court asked police to file a status report in the matter, and directed the DCP to assess the threat perception and provide additional security to the petitioner, if required.
The petitioner, though her lawyer Mehmood Pracha, had approached the HC earlier seeking directions for registration of FIR and provision of police protection for her family. The HC had disposed of the petition on July 17, with directions to provide her with security and assess threat perception.
Pracha submitted to the court that after the order, on the intervening night of August 5-6, “a crowd of rowdy individuals, several of whom had also participated in the riots, came to the neighbourhood of the petitioners and started raising loud communal slogans, shouting out filthy expletives… they threatened the residents and asked them to leave the neighbourhood.”
On August 8, when the petitioner and some women met the SHO, he allegedly dissuaded them from filing the complaints. “After some resilience on part of the petitioners, they were assaulted by plainclothes persons and police personnel inside the police station,” alleged Pracha.
Additional Standing Counsel Rajesh Mahajan told the court that the DCP has assessed the situation and concluded that CCTV cameras and beat staff are sufficient at this point in time. He submitted that the beat constable visits the site at least thrice a day and CCTVs have been installed.
Mahajan told the court: “They (petitioner and some other women in the neighbourhood) came to the police station and threatened police officers that if they do not lodge their complaint, they will file a false complaint against them… this was a very sensitive area where riots took place in the recent past, adequate protection has already been provided. They intend to misuse that and have filed counter complaints against police, saying police are harassing them. They do not want protection, let them get private security… We are giving them protection and… facing their ire.”
Justice Khanna said, “If this is the situation which they are complaining in their complaint dated August 10, 2020, then provide them security. They are also citizens of India, why do you not provide them with security if they are (being) harassed?” Mahajan said, “This system is being completely misused…”
Justice Khanna said, “If you provide them proper protection, then why should they complain against SHOs and DCPs? For the time being, raise some security… so they feel secure. I am directing the DCP to look into this aspect.”
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