Law

'They Tried to Save Hindu Lives': HC Grants Bail to 3 Accused in Delhi Riots Case

The court relied on the fact that the accused had saved the lives of some members of the Hindu community, who were witnesses in the case, by asking them to leave the scene of the crime.

New Delhi: In a murder case of a 25-year-old man named Shahid Alam, who was shot during the riots in north-east Delhi in February 2020, the Delhi high court on Friday granted bail to three accused, Junaid, Chand Mohd and Irshad, in absence of any direct, circumstantial or forensic evidence proving their motive to commit the offence.

The high court noted that “it is hard to believe that a communal riot can be used to cause death of the person of their own community,” reported the Indian Express.

It relied on the fact that the accused had saved the lives of some persons of the Hindu community (witnesses in the case), namely, Mukesh, Narayan, Arvind and their families, by asking them to leave the scene of the crime.

“If they were really involved in this communal riot and wanted to cause harm to the members of the other community/Hindu community, they would not have tried to save the lives of the above-named members of the other community,” states the order passed by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait.

Alam was killed on February 24 last year, during the riots. According to the police, protestors belonging to the Muslim and Hindu communities gathered at the Chandbagh area and the Yamuna Vihar area respectively.

They took over rooftops of various buildings in these areas, including the Mohan Nursing Home, Saptarishi, Ispat and Alloy Private Limited buildings. Alam was shot at by a person who was in the same building and was declared dead at the GTB hospital.

The court highlighted that the police, in its investigation, could not certainly find that the gunshot was fired from the same building.

It also noted that the investigating agency had concentrated only on one side of the building, even as the video shows that firing was done only from Mohan Nursing Home and not from the Saptarishi building.

“Because they are not sure that from where this gunshot injury came then how can they be sure that it is a close-range shot when they are already mentioning that this is a “possibility” but not a surety or certainty,” the court said.

Examining the post-mortem report, the court held that the wound was caused by long-distance firing.

“The theory of close shot is just conjecture as neither the shape of the wound has been mentioned nor the weapon discovered,” the court said.

According to Bar & Bench, the court also observed that the main assailant who has caused the gunshot injury was yet to be arrested. The court also observed that charges were yet to be framed and it would take substantial time for the trial to be completed, opining that the petitioners deserved bail in the matter.