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'NE Delhi riots probe on communal lines', submits lawyer; Court disapproves

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) A Delhi court has expressed strong disapproval on the submission of a lawyer, who appeared for an accused in a case related to last year's riots in North East Delhi, in which he said that only the persons belonging to the Muslim community were targeted by the police in the aftermath of the riots.

The court of Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said that the submissions are not in good taste, adding that "these are noted with immense disgust, repugnance and strong disapproval".

"It is the counsel himself who is now painting the entire Delhi Police with a communal brush by saying that the criminal cases related to the riots have been fastened upon the members of Muslim community alone. The statement of the counsel is not only highly irresponsible, but also patently false," the court said.

Further, the court stated that while dealing with the cases related to the riots, it has noticed that members of both the communities have been arraigned as accused and have been charge­sheeted by the police.

In some cases, it has been observed that there are witnesses belonging to the Hindu community cited against the accused belonging to the same community, and vice versa.

Observing that the police appears to have done their job with the utmost integrity and certainly not on communal lines, the court said may be some lapses have occurred during the investigation of these cases related to the riots, but even those lapses do not give any slightest indication that the investigation was not fair or impartial or that it was done on communal lines.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for the accused named Arif, commenced his arguments by submitting that the riots that took place in North East Delhi in the last week of February 2020 were not actually communal riots.

It was his submission that the riots had taken place at the instance of certain political vested interests to derail the peaceful protest which was going on against the newly promulgated CAA/NRC by the Parliament.

The court also said that the lawyer did not point at any material on record to substantiate his claim that the riots were not communal in nature, or they were the handiwork of any political party.

The court dismissed the bail plea of Arif, stating that the allegations against the accused are serious in nature.

The case relates to the murder of Alok Tiwari, who had sustained several injuries near the Shiv Vihar Tiraha on February 25 last year during the riots that engulfed almost the entire North ­East Delhi.

As per the post-mortem report, the deceased had received 13 injuries by sharp-edged and blunt objects and the cause of his death was "shock as a result of ante­mortem injury to the brain caused by blunt force impact".

As per the eye witness account of Ajeet Kumar Tomar, Arif was part of the riotous mob which had attacked the deceased with rods, stones and bottles, thereby causing his death.