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Muslim man gets bail, Delhi court rejects theory that he ‘helped’ Hindu rioters

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24. (File photo- courtesy: PTI)

New Delhi: A Delhi court has granted bail to a man in two separate cases related to the north east Delhi riots, saying it did not appeal to the senses that accused, being a Muslim, would rub shoulder to shoulder in such a surcharged atmosphere with the members of an “unlawful assembly”, which mainly consisted of persons from the Hindu community and would beat a Muslim boy to death.

The court said admittedly majority of the accused persons which formed the “unlawful assembly” in the matter were Hindus, whereas Aarif was a Muslim by religion.

“It is very obfuscatory that a Muslim boy would become part of an ‘unlawful assembly’ which mostly consisted of members of the Hindu community, the common object whereof was to cause maximum damage to the property, life and limb(s) of the other community.

So, prima facie, the applicant (Aarif) cannot be said to be part of ‘unlawful assembly’ or share ‘common object’ with them on the date of incident.

“The case of applicant is totally on a different pedestal as compared with other co-accused Jitender whose bail application has already been dismissed by this court. because it does not appeal to senses that applicant being a muslim would rub shoulder to shoulder in such a surcharged atmosphere with the members of ‘unlawful assembly’, which mainly consisted of the persons of Hindu community and would beat a Muslim boy to death,” Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said.

The court said in its order passed on December 11 granted bail to Aarif on furnishing of a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount each in the cases related to the deaths of two Muslim youths during the riots in Dayalpur area.

It further said eye witnesses have not specifically spelt out the role of the accused in the matter and their statements prima facie appeared to be “general one”.

“The applicant (Aarif) is not visible in any CCTV/video footage. As regards the call detail record (CDR) location, it is relevant to mention here that applicant is resident of the same locality/area and as such, at this stage his CDR location being found at or around the spot is also not of much consequence to the prosecution.”

“Furthermore, once the applicant is out of the ambit of section 149 (unlawful assembly) IPC, then he cannot be fastened with the liability under section 302 (murder) IPC. Thus, now the primary material against the applicant remains his disclosure statement, which has got no meaning,” it said.

During the hearing, advocate Abdul Gaffar, appearing for Aarif, said he was falsely implicated in the case and there was no evidence on record except for his disclosure statement about him having attacked the deceased.

Special Public Prosecutor Manoj Chaudhary, appearing for the police, opposed the bail plea saying Aarif was allegedly part of the unlawful assembly/riotous mob that had inflicted severe injuries on Ashfaaq Hussain and Zakir, which ultimately resulted in their deaths.

Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. (PTI)