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Delhi Riots: Court Grants Bail to Man, Says Gaping Hole in Eye Witness Account

Security forces patrolling a street in New Delhi after the riots in February. (File photo/Reuters)

Security forces patrolling a street in New Delhi after the riots in February. (File photo/Reuters)

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat granted relief to Gurmeet Singh on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount in the case related to grievous bullet injury received by one Rizwan on February 25 at Kardam Puri Pulia during the riots.

A Delhi court Thursday granted bail to a man in a case related to the communal violence in north east Delhi, saying there was "gaping hole" in the statement of the eye witness in the matter. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat granted relief to Gurmeet Singh on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount in the case related to grievous bullet injury received by one Rizwan on February 25 at Kardam Puri Pulia during the riots.

The court said Singh was arrested in the case from the Mandoli jail and so the question of how eye witness Rafiq had identified the accused by his face remained unanswered. It also noted that the CCTV footage was not of the place of the incident but around the place of occurrence of the riots.

The court further said Rafiq had given his statement on April 24 while the incident was of February 25. According to Rafiq's statement under section 161 (examination by police) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he was a vegetable seller and on February 25, 2020, while he was selling vegetables in the Kardam Puri Puliya area, communal riots took place and he saw that unlawful assembly of Hindus were beating some Muslim and some unknown persons were firing and rioting, it said.

The prosecution relies upon an eye witness namely Rafiq. He was able to identify 56 people including the present accused Gurmeet, as among the rioters, as he knew them and had seen them in the nearby area but does not know their address. The applicant (Singh) was not arrested, in the present case, on the instance of any witness but was formally arrested at Mandoli Jail. If that is so, then how the witness Rafiq has identified the accused by his face, is still anyone's guess. There is a gaping hole between the two aspects, it said in its order. It also said that victim Rizwan had not seen the attacker in the riotous mob.

The court directed him not to tamper with evidence or leave Delhi without its permission. During the hearing, Singh's counsel said he has been falsely implicated in the case and at the time of the incident, he was pulling his rickshaw with a passenger.

Special Public Prosecutor Rajeev Krishan Sharma, appearing for the police, opposed his bail saying on April 24, Rafiq gave statement that five persons, including Singh, were allegedly involved in the case and thereafter they were arrested from Mandoli jail. Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.


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