A court here has ordered framing of charges, including those related to attempt to murder and unlawful assembly, against former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan, ‘United Against Hate’ founder Khalid Saifi and 11 others in a 2020 northeast Delhi riots case.
The court, however, discharged all 13 of offences of criminal conspiracy, abetment and common intention and charges under the Arms Act.
In an order passed on Friday, Special Judge Amitabh Rawat said, “… prima facie, there are grounds for presuming that accused persons have committed offences under Indian Penal Code sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon) 186 (obstructing public servant), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).”
The judge also said that the accused were liable to face trial for offences under sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC.
“All accused persons are discharged for the offences under IPC sections 34 (common intention), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 109 (abetment),” the court said, adding that they were also discharged of offences under the provisions of the Arms Act.
The court put the accused on trial, saying their role was “prima facie” established based on the contents of the charge sheet and statements of witnesses.
“It has come on record that on February 26, 2020, at about 12.15 pm, a riotous armed mob (unlawful assembly) including the accused persons in the prosecution of their common object had assembled and refused to follow the direction of police to disperse and thrown stones and assaulted police officers while obstructing them in performing their official duties and also fired a gunshot at head constable HC Yograj,” the court said.
According to the prosecution, the incident occurred at the Masjidwali Gali in the Khureji Khas area of northeast Delhi.
The court underlined that at the stage of framing the charges, only the “prima facie” case was to be considered and whether the case against the accused was beyond a reasonable doubt would be established after trial.
“Eye witness and victim HC Yograj (beat constable of the area) had specifically named all the 13 accused persons at the first available opportunity when he gave a statement to record the present FIR immediately after the incident,” the court said.
It said the police official had “categorically identified” all the accused persons, who had formed an armed unlawful assembly and “on the instigation of Ishrat Jahan and Khalid Saifi”, pelted stones at the police, while one juvenile from the mob fired at the head constable.
The court also noted the statements of three public witnesses and other police witnesses.
It noted the statement of a public witness, according to which, “Khalid and Ishrat were instigating the crowd and firing took place from the said crowd. Despite police request, Khalid and Ishrat did not move and were bent on pushing the police and they were abusing the police.”
The Jagat Puri police station filed charge sheets against Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi, Vikram Pratap, Samir Ansari, Mohammed Salim, Sabu Ansari, Iqbal Ahmed, Anzaar, Mohammed Ilyas, Mohammed Bilal Saif, Salim Ahmed, Mohammed Yameen and Sharif Khan.