Delhi riots: Court grants bail to 24-year-old man in five cases

New Delhi: A Delhi court Wednesday granted bail to a 24-year old man in five cases related to the communal violence in north east Delhi in February last year, saying there was a serious doubt on the credibility of two police witnesses.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav allowed the bail pleas of Azad on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety each in the cases related to alleged vandalism and burning properties during the riots in Gokalpuri area.

The court said though the beat officers of the police had allegedly seen the accused indulging in riots, they waited till the recording of their statements by the police to name and identify Azad.

 Being police officials, what stopped them from reporting the matter then and there in the police station or to bring the same in the knowledge of higher police officers. This cast a serious doubt on the credibility of two police witnesses, it said in its similar order passed in the cases.

It further said the accused has neither been named in the FIR nor are there any specific allegations against him.

It noted that Azad was arrested in the case after a lapse of about 50 days from the date of the incident though he was already in jail in another case wherein he allegedly made disclosure statement about his involvement in the case in hand.

The court further said no CCTV footage of the incident has been placed on record by the police. 

It directed the accused not to tamper with evidence and to install the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones.

During the hearing, Azad’s counsel claimed he has been falsely implicated in the matter and has nothing to do with the alleged offence.

The police’s Special Public Prosecutor D K Bhatia opposed the bail applications saying the accused was allegedly present at the spot of the incident with an unlawful assembly which had indulged in vandalism, chanting slogans against a particular community, stone-pelting and putting shops and houses on fire.

Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 last year after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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