New Delhi: A Delhi court dealing with cases related to the northeast Delhi riots, being handled by the Special Cell of the Delhi police, observed on May 27 that “the investigation seems to be targeted only towards one end”.
While most of the cases pertaining to the violence that took place in northeast Delhi in February this year have been registered by the area police and are being heard by the Karkardooma courts, those cases which were handed over to the Special Cell are being heard by special courts in the Patiala House Courts complex.
During the hearing of a plea a filed against the 30-day custody of Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha in a case, registered under FIR No. 59 of 2020 of Special Cell, the Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana made strong observations regarding the investigation.
He was quoted by The Quint as having said: “Perusal of the case diary reveals a disturbing fact. The investigation seems to be targeted only towards one end. Upon enquiry from Inspector Lokesh and Anil, they have failed to point out what investigation has been carried out so far regarding the involvement of the rival faction.”
ASJ Rana also called upon the concerned Deputy Commissioner of police to also “monitor” the case and “ensure a fair investigation”.
Talking to The Wire, Tanha’s advocate, Sowjhanya Shankaran, said, “These were important observations”.
While Tanha was arrested by the Delhi police last week, sources said the first arrests in the case – in which the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act was invoked – were made in late March.
Lawyer and former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan and activist Khalid Saifi, who is known for his work with non-profit organisation United Against Hate, were among the first to be arrested in this case.
The two were arrested when they were trying to prevent police from evacuating protesters from the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act sit-in at Khureji.
It has been claimed by the counsel of many of the accused, along with civil society members, academics, feminists and activists, that the Delhi police have not been acting fairly in dealing with the cases and that there has been bias against mainly Muslim anti-CAA protesters, who have been booked.
Questions have also been raised as to why BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur – the last of whom is Minister of State for Finance – whose speeches are believed to have stirred violence have not been investigated at all.