In a status report submitted before a Delhi court, police have stated that there was no evidence against persons accused of participating in an armed mob which torched Madina Masjid during the Northeast Delhi riots.
The status report was filed by the police before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mayuri Singh on January 4 responding to a complaint filed by Haji Hasim Ali, a member of the management committee of Madina Masjid.
On February 25, rioters broke into the mosque situated in Shiv Vihar after a power cut in the area and set two LPG cylinders on fire inside, causing an explosion. A saffron flag was later planted atop this mosque by a local, who has been named in the complaint along with two others. An eyewitness, Vakeel, who tried to reason with the mob, was attacked with acid and lost his eyesight, court records stated.
Ali’s lawyer M R Shamshad asked the court to direct the police to register a separate FIR into the arson at the mosque, since this particular incident was clubbed with another FIR, making it “irrelevant”.
Ali had earlier filed a complaint regarding the arson and loot at his home in Shiv Vihar. The police clubbed his complaint with another man’s complaint, who reported an arson at his shop, in which no accused person was named. The police registered an FIR in this case and arrested Ali on the basis of CCTV footage, in which the police claimed he was “clearly seen in the footage instigating the mob”. He was later granted bail.
After his release, Ali tried to register a separate FIR into the arson at the mosque. The police in their status report said that the present complaint has been clubbed into the FIR in which Ali was originally arrested since “the place and time of the complaint is the same”. “…no concrete evidence has come on record against the alleged persons till now… no type of footage has been provided by…Ali,” the status report read.
The police report also stated that “a separate complaint has already been given by the wife of Vakeel” and that it has also been clubbed with another FIR in which a probe is underway.
Shamshad told the court, “Most of the complaints of Muslims naming accused have been made irrelevant by tagging them in existing FIRs… Applicants believe that this exercise is just to hamper fair investigation of danger caused to Muslims by highlighting the FIR of the rival party to give a particular direction and colour to the violence in the area.”
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