2020 Delhi riots a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’, says Delhi HC

Around 53 people, including constable Ratan Lal, were killed and 700 others injured in the riots

2020 Delhi riots a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’, says Delhi HC

File photo for representation.

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 28

The northeast Delhi riots that shook the nation last year were a “pre-planned conspiracy” to disturb law and order in the national capital and the violence didn’t take place in a spur of the moment, the Delhi High Court has said.

While refusing to grant bail to accused Mohd Ibrahim in the case of the murder of Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal, Justice Subramonium Prasad on Monday noted that there was a systematic disconnection and destruction of the CCTV cameras in areas near the place of the incident and innumerable rioters ruthlessly descended with sticks, ‘dandas’, bats, etc. upon a hopelessly outnumbered cohort of police officials.

However, it granted bail to another accused Saleem Khan in the absence of any material to show that he was a part of the unlawful assembly at the crime scene.

Around 53 people, including constable Ratan Lal, were killed and 700 others injured in the riots that broke out in northeast Delhi during the then US President Donald Trump’s India visit in February last year.

Rejecting the bail plea of Ibrahim, Justice Prasad said the conduct of the protesters present in the video footage placed on record by the prosecution visibly portrayed that it was a calculated attempt to dislocate the functioning of the government as well as to disrupt the normal life of the people in the city.

Individual liberty cannot be misused in a manner that threatens the very fabric of civilised society by attempting to destabilise it and cause hurt to other persons, the HC said even as it acknowledged the importance of personal liberty in a democratic polity.

The available video footage showing the petitioner with a sword was quite egregious and sufficient to keep him in custody, the court noted.

Ibrahim has been in judicial custody since his arrest in December 2020. He sought bail on the ground that he never participated in any protest or the riots at any point in time and the place on a record by the prosecution did not place him anywhere close to the scene of the crime.

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