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Delhi Riots: Accused Didn't See 'Bottomless Stupidity' of Propaganda to Avenge Muslims, Says Court

File photo of brick-bats seen amid vandalised properties in Bhagirathi Vihar area of the riot-affected north east Delhi. (Image: PTI)

File photo of brick-bats seen amid vandalised properties in Bhagirathi Vihar area of the riot-affected north east Delhi. (Image: PTI)

The court made these observations while taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed against 11 persons in the case of the alleged murder of Aamir Khan whose body was found in a nearby drain in the Gokulpuri area.

There was a well hatched conspiracy in the murder of a local youth during the northeast Delhi riots as in order to take revenge from the Muslims, the accused, who failed to perceive the "bottomless stupidity" of the propaganda, created a WhatsApp group as "saviours" of their community, a Delhi court has observed.

The court made these observations while taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed against 11 persons in the case of the alleged murder of Aamir Khan whose body was found in a nearby drain in the Gokulpuri area.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam Pathak said there was no doubt about it that prima-facie case for commission of the offence, as alleged, did exist.

The court will next hear arguments on framing of charges against the accused in the case.

The incident took place when those against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the ones supporting it clashed in Delhi in February this year.

In its July 20 order, the court further said: "The accused -- Lokesh Kumar Solanki, Pankaj Sharma, Sumit Chaudhary, Ankit Chaudhary, Prince, Rishabh Chaudhary, Jatin Sharma, Vivek Panchal and Himanshu Thakur -- have committed an offence under sections 302 (murder), 144 (unlawful assembly), 147 and 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 201 (disappearance of evidence), 395 (dacoity), 396 (dacoity with murder), 427, 432 and 435 (mischief), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

"The accused persons namely Pawan Kumar has committed the offence under sections 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of dacoity), 201 IPC and accused Lalit Kumar has committed the offence under section 412 IPC," it said.

The offences entail a maximum punishment of death penalty.

The court said the members of the WhatsApp group, named 'Kattar Hindu Ekta', lost their individuality and started working with mob mind and sacred slogans "deadened" their mind.

"From the investigation and the statements of the witnesses, and the charge sheet, it is prima facie revealed that there was a well hatched conspiracy amongst the accused persons. Same is evident from the fact that in order to take revenge from Muslims some youths of that area who failed to perceive the bottomless stupidity of the propaganda, they as saviours of their community created a WhatsApp group," it said.

"The group members lost their individuality and started working with mob mind. 'Jai Sri Ram' and 'Har Har Mahadev' which are the sacred slogans and are attached to the victorious yelling, deadend their mind and paralyzed their creative nature," it said.

The mob turned into rioters and allegedly caused death of Aamir by inflicting multiple injuries in a brutal manner and to conceal the evidence threw his body in the drain, the court said.

"It has been found that the common object of the unlawful assembly was not only to kill but also to destroy all evidence of that crime... There cannot be any doubt that the accused who killed Aamir Khan were certainly up to their neck in the conspiracy and were thus very active members of the unlawful assembly," it said.

It was also clear that there were averments in respect of promoting enmity between different groups on the ground of religion and acting in a way that are prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony, the court noted.

"In a case where a group of people conspired, thereafter assembled to take revenge and where the victims have been targeted on the basis of their religious identity, the relevant provisions of law attracting relevant offences should have been mentioned in the Charge Sheet. Further no Sanction has been obtained in this regard," it added.

According to the charge sheet filed on June 4, emphasis was laid on the calls made to the police control room (PCR) during the riots in the area.

During scrutiny of PCR calls it was found that total 27 calls regarding riots were made in the proximity area of Gokalpuri Ganda Nala Pulia, of which five were made by eyewitnesses, including two calls made regarding the incident, the charge sheet said.

It further said that one of the callers who was traced and examined, stated that on February 26 he had gone towards Bhagirathi Vihar side to search his missing bike and on reaching there, he found there was a huge mob at the spot, armed with stones, cudgel, sticks, swords and iron rods and they were allegedly shouting slogans like 'Jai Sri Ram', 'Har Har Mahadev'.

He had seen the mob allegedly stopping two persons riding on a bike and after establishing their Muslim identity they killed both of them with stones, cudgel, sticks, swords and iron rods and thereafter threw the bodies in the drain, it said.

Further during the course of investigation, the investigating officer noticed that three persons, Mohit Sharma, Shivam Bhardwaj and Dimple Rai, were continuously hovering around the investigation team and were trying to snoop on their conversation, the police told the court.

The police said that the three persons were stopped and mobile data of their phones were looked into, from which it was revealed that they were members of the WhatsApp group namely 'Kattar Hindu Ekta'.

Further investigation of this group was carried out which revealed that it was created on February 25, allegedly for taking "revenge" from Muslim community, the charge sheet said.

It further said that the accused were identified by the witness and they have been accused of allegedly leading the Hindu mob and were allegedly involved in the killing of nine Muslim persons, including Aamir.

first published:July 21, 2020, 20:51 IST