Did Delhi Police Convert a Riot Victim into a Witness to Protect the Accused?

No FIR was registered on Nisar Ahmed’s complaints against five people who attacked and looted his house, or the BJP councillor who intervened on their behalf.

New Delhi: Over four months after his readymade garments godown and house in Bhagirathi Vihar, North East Delhi were attacked and looted by a mob on February 25, Nisar Ahmed has still not managed to have a proper case registered by the Delhi police. This is true of both the attack itself and subsequent threats he allegedly received from some of the accused,

`Police trying to protect five accused’

Though the police recently submitted in the Delhi high court that “FIR No.78/2020 has been registered at Police Station Gokulpuri wherein complaint of the petitioner is also clubbed and petitioner has been made witness in three other FIRs”, Ahmed’s advocate M.R. Shamshad charged that police was trying to “protect” those named by Ahmed in the case.

In his subsequently complaints to the police, Ahmed had accused local BJP councillor Kanhaiya Lal of making those he had accused in his complaint call and threaten him.

The Wire had earlier reported how a writ petition was filed by Ahmed in the Delhi high court, accusing the Delhi police of not registering a proper FIR on his complaint.

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In the plea, Ahmed had made the Delhi police commissioner and the chief secretary respondents. He complained about the non-registration of an FIR and urged the court to issue a protection order for him. Ahmed had also complained that due to the violence, his family has been reduced to penury and have become dependent on donations for survival.

During the hearing before Justice Suresh Kumar Kait on July 1, the government counsel submitted that Ahmed’s case had been clubbed with another and he had also been made a witness in three other chargesheets – which pertain to the killing of nine people in the area on February 25 and 26. Subsequently, the high court disposed of the matter with directions to the government to furnish the chargesheets and a copy of the FIR.

Police did not book five people named by Ahmed as accused

Ahmed’s counsel, Shamshad, however, charged that this was nothing but a police ploy to downplay Ahmed’s complaint. In the three chargesheets there are nine accused, but the five people Ahmed named do not figure. “Now police wants to play around with these nine people to protect five named persons in Nisar’s complaint,” said Shamshad.

A look at the chargesheets reveals that the police have used Ahmed’s complaints to create a narrative around how violence began and spread in Bhagirathi Vihar.

In all three chargesheets, filed under at Gokulpuri police station, nine people have been named as accused. All of them are residents of Bhagirathi Vihar or Ganga Vihar.

Chargesheets give Ahmed’s account as one of witness, not victim

In these chargesheets, the police name Nisar Ahmed as one of the many witnesses. In one of them, FIR No 102/20, the comments against his name state that “he will prove his statement u/s 161 CrPC dated 29.05.2020.”

In the chargesheet pertaining to FIR No. 102 the Delhi police recorded that on February 25, a “mob of 200-250 people assembled at Nala Tiraha, Johripur and all of them were carrying iron roads, sticks, lathi, danda. At about 10:00 a.m. the mob led by Mogli, Michael and Tinku came at his house and Michael and Sonu with the help of dagger broke open the shutter of his godown and robbed away household articles, dowry articles, jeans and lower jacket tied in bundles and then (set) fire (to) his (three) motorcycles…”

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The police also recorded how according to Ahmed, “this incident of rioting, arson, robbery, hooliganism” continued and those identified to be Muslims were beaten to death and their bodies dumped into the Bhagirathi Vihar nala (drain).

In another chargesheet, filed under FIR. No 103/20, the police acknowledged that Ahmed had made a complaint on March 19 and thereafter his statement was recorded in detail under Section 161 of the CrPC.

However, in the court, the Delhi police counsel made no mention of the reasons why these serious complaints or those Ahmed filed subsequently regarding the accused threatening him, his sister and her family were not properly registered or probed. Also, Ahmed was not informed earlier about his complaint being clubbed with another FIR or the action taken in the matter.