Categories: INDIA NEWS

3 get bail, Delhi High Court points to accused helping Hindus escape violence

The Delhi High Court Friday granted bail to three accused in a murder case registered by police to probe the killing of 25-year-old Shahid Alam during the Northeast Delhi violence last year, and said it is hard to believe that a communal riot can be used by them to cause death of a person of their own community.

The court said there is no direct, circumstantial or forensic evidence against Junaid, Chand Mohd and Irshad, neither was there any motive for them or for any other person allegedly present on the roof of Saptarishi building to commit the offence. It also said the prosecution has not alleged any motive and also observed that it is the admitted case of the police that the three accused had asked witnesses Mukesh, Narayan, Arvind and their families to leave the scene of the crime to save their lives.

“If they were really involved in this communal riot and wanted to cause harm to the members of the other community/Hindu community, they would not have tried to save the lives of the above-named members of the other community,” the order passed by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait reads.

On February 24 last year, both pro- and anti-CAA protesters around Chand Bagh and Yamuna Vihar areas had taken positions on rooftops of various buildings including Mohan Nursing Home and Saptarishi Ispat and Alloy Private Limited. Shahid had received a gunshot injury at the rooftop of the Saptarishi building and was declared dead at GTB hospital later. The accused are alleged to have been on the same rooftop.

The court, after perusing the post-mortem report examining the gunshot wound, said it was a wound caused by long distance firing, “which indicates that it is a distant shot fired from any building which is in front of Saptarishi building and is at a distance or it is fired from Mohan Nursing Home, because in the video relied by the prosecution, it has been categorically shown how some anti-social elements were firing gunshots using a rifle from the roof of Mohan Nursing Home building”.

It further noted in the order that post-mortem reports show the direction of the wound is from the left side which is then going downwards, “which means that the injury was from a height and at a distant range…”

Questioning the use of the word “possibility” in the chargesheet, the court said police are not sure from where the gunshot came from. “… then how can they be sure it is a close-range shot…,” the order reads, adding that the theory of close shot is just conjecture as neither the shape of the wound has been mentioned nor the weapon discovered.

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Referring to the video news report relied on by police, the court also noted that NDTV’s Ravish Kumar said that a person was firing a rifle from Mohan Nursing Home Hospital and wearing a helmet. “But the investigating agency seems to have concentrated only on one side of the building, although it is an admitted case of the prosecution that rioters from both the sides were pelting stones at each other and were firing. Further, in this video, the firing is seen to be done only from Mohan Nursing Home and not from Saptarishi building,” the court said.

It has also said the investigating agency has said the main assailant who caused gunshot injury is yet to be arrested. “Admittedly, no recovery, either of firearm or of any other weapon, was obtained from the petitioners,” it said.

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