2020 Delhi riots: Court orders framing charges of arson, theft against 5 accused

 A sessions court here has ordered framing of charges, including those related to rioting, arson and theft, against five accused in a case of the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, saying a “prima facie” case was made out against them.

The court was hearing a case against Ankit, Sourabh Sharma, Rohit, Rahul Kumar and Sachin, who were accused of being present in a riotous mob that set ablaze a place of worship and other properties, besides committing theft in Karwal Nagar on February 25, 2020.

“I find that a prima facie case is made out against the accused persons,” Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala said in an order passed on Monday.

He said the accused are liable to be tried for the offences under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant), 380 (theft in dwelling house) and 427 (committing mischief and thereby causes loss or damage to the amount of Rs 50 or upwards).

The five accused will also face trial for the offences under IPC sections 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to an amount of Rs 100 or upwards), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy building), and 450 (house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment for life), ASJ Pramachala said.

Noting the statements of witnesses, including two police officials, the court said there was an unlawful assembly which vandalised the properties of people belonging to a particular community.

“They trespassed into houses of the victims so as to vandalise and set them on fire. Thus, they were acting out of a common object being shared by all the members of that assembly Accused persons were duly identified by these witnesses ,” the court said.

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