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Northeast Delhi riots: Man died hrs after release from station, police tell HC CCTVs weren’t working

Faizan (23) died soon after his release from Jyoti Nagar police station, where he was taken after he was allegedly assaulted by policemen on 66 Foota Road.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
March 23, 2021 1:35:11 am
The victim, Faizan

THE DELHI Police has told the Delhi High Court that CCTV cameras at Jyoti Nagar police station — where a Northeast Delhi riots victim Faizan (23) allegedly remained detained on February 24 last year, hours before his death at a hospital — were not working between February 24 and March 4 due to technical reasons, and that there was no tampering involved.

Faizan died soon after his release from the police station, where he was taken after he was allegedly assaulted by policemen on 66 Foota Road. A video of him and four others writhing in pain on the ground as personnel forced them to sing the national anthem and Vande Mataram had gone viral at the time. He was released late evening on February 25 from the police station and died at a hospital on February 26.

“During investigation, it came on record that on the date and time of incident — that is, on 24.02.2020 — CCTV cameras of police station Jyoti Nagar were not working due to some technical fault. This fault had been lodged in the daily diary register…,” said police in a reply before the court.

Police also said non-functioning of CCTVs and lodging of a complaint to resolve the issue has been corroborated by an engineer of Innovative View Private Limited. The engineer stated “that the fault was due to technical reasons and no tampering was noticed by him at the time of resolving the issue,” said Rajesh Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Special Investigation Unit-I, Crime Branch in the reply to court.

Last month, police had in a written response told the court that they are still trying to ascertain the identity of personnel seen in the viral video and only one policeman has been “pinpointed on probable basis”. It also claimed that Faizan and others were later kept at the Jyoti Nagar police station as per their own wish. On February 1 this year, the court had directed police to state on record if CCTVs of Jyoti Nagar police station were functioning or not on February 24 and 25 last year.

The replies have been filed by police in response to a petition by Faizan’s mother Kismatun (61) for a court-monitored SIT probe into her son’s death. She is being represented by advocates Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee. In the petition, it has been alleged that Faizan was “targeted, brutally assaulted” and “injured by the policemen” at Kardampuri and then subsequently “illegally detained” in an injured condition at the police station, where he was denied timely critical medical care resulting in his death later at a hospital.

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