The Delhi High Court Thursday issued notice to the Delhi government and the Crime Branch in a petition seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the death of 23-year-old Faizan during the Northeast Delhi riots. Prior to his alleged detention at a police station in February, Faizan and four others — as seen in a video — were allegedly made to sing the national anthem and Vande Mataram by a group of policemen, who also hit them with their lathis. He died at a hospital within hours of his release.
Seeking a status report from the Crime Branch on the progress in the probe, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait fixed the case for hearing on February 1.
The petition was filed by Faizan’s mother Kismatun (61), represented by advocates Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee. The petition stated that Faizan was “targeted, brutally assaulted” and “injured by the policemen” at Kardampuri. It further said he was subsequently “illegally detained” in an injured condition at Jyoti Nagar police station on December 24 and denied timely critical medical care, resulting in his death on February 26 at a hospital.
“The taunts and abuses used by the police alluded that the injured men, simply by virtue of being Muslims, were unpatriotic and being ‘taught a lesson’,” it contends, while referring to contents of the video clip.
The petition claimed the investigation by the Crime Branch in the past nine months was a “sham”. The petition said police carried Faizan and other injured men from Kardampuri bridge to GTB Hospital, and from there to the police station, adding that the road taken by the police vehicle is a public route lined with commercial establishments and other buildings with CCTV cameras.
“However, the Crime Branch… made a generic and unsubstantiated assertion that, ‘during investigation, neither any government CCTV nor any private CCTV was found installed in the area’…,” it submitted, adding that every police vehicle has a log book recording personnel travelling in it.
The petition also states that the duty roster at Jyoti Nagar police station would also reveal the names of the policemen.
While arguing that a detailed narration of the facts by Faizan to his mother right before his death amounts to a ‘dying declaration’, the petition alleged that the Crime Branch has, however, “parroted” the police narrative pertaining to his illegal detention.
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