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Delhi HC rejects plea filed by Jahangirpuri riot accused Sheikh Ishrafil who claimed harassment by police

"In these facts and circumstances, it is evident that the petitioner has moved this petition to thwart investigations", observed the court while dismissing Sheikh Ishrafil's plea.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday, June 2, dismissed a petition filed by a Jahangirpuri riot accused, seeking directions to Delhi Police not to harass him and his family in the name of interrogation. The Court opined that the petition was a fraudulent one, filed solely for the purpose of obtaining anticipatory bail.

Accused Sheikh Ishrafil had claimed that the Delhi police were coming to his house under the cover of investigations and subjecting him and his family to harassment. He had also claimed that the police were seeking to allege that he and his family members were involved in the riot.

Sheikh Ishrafil is one of the key conspirators and perpetrators of the April 16, 2022 incident of violence that occurred in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area. His eldest son Md. Ali alias Jasmuddin was one of the arrested 14 persons who allegedly engaged in violence targeting the Hanuman Jayanti procession in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri.

‘Petition appears to be phishing in nature, filed to seek anticipatory bail’, says Delhi HC Judge while rejecting the plea of Jahangirpuri riot accused

The single-judge bench of Justice Asha Menon, while rejecting Ishrafil’s appeal, observed that the petition appeared to be phishing in nature, seeking anticipatory bail in the guise of directives to the police not to harass him and his family.

The bench further observed, “In the light of the facts and circumstances, as noted hereinabove, this does not appear to be a case in which the police have contacted the petitioner and his family only with ill motives to harass them. The police have to find out who were the perpetrators of the various offences committed on April 16, 2022, and as a citizen of this country, it is only to be expected that while the petitioner seeks enforcement of his Fundamental Rights, he would also do his duties and help the police resolve the crime and apprehend the perpetrators.”

Sheikh Ishrafil had claimed in his plea, that his father died on April 14, 2022, and that his late father’s Teeja (Muslim rites performed on the third day of the death of a person) was being done on April 16, 2022, at the Eidgah C-block, Jahangirpuri, where the riots began. He claimed that his entire family, including his five sons, were involved in the last rites of his father.

On the contrary, the State’s Additional Standing Counsel (ASC) asserted that during investigations, a large number of people were identified rioting, wielding swords, waving and using firearms, pelting stones and glass bottles and that 34 people and three CCLs (child in conflict with law) had been apprehended as of May 12, 2022. Others, including Ishrafil and his son Ashnoor, were absconding, according to him, and non-bailable warrants had been issued against them.

The ASC for State also alleged that Ishrafil was actively involved in exacerbating the situation by pelting stones and bottles, and attacking the Hanuman Jayanti procession with firearms, swords, bricks, bottles, and other weapons, as well as inciting the Muslim mob.

“He also spread the message amongst the residents and his community to accumulate stones, brick pieces, glass bottles, swords, and other arms, to be used at an appropriate time,” State counsel said.

The ASC went on to say that Ishrafil had devised a deep conspiracy to disrupt the country’s communal harmony and that the forensic team discovered and seized bricks, glass, and ceramic fragments on Ishrafil’s terrace, among other places.

The ASC told the court that accused Sheikh Ishrafil was trying to seek anticipatory bail in the grab of the current petition, which ASC maintained, was not permissible.

‘Petition moved to thwart investigation’: Delhi HC

The court took note of the submissions and ordered, “This Court finds no reason to issue any directions in the exercise of its powers under Article 226 given the Status Report filed by the State disclosing that the police were only investigating into the offences committed for which FIR has been registered.”

“In these facts and circumstances, it is evident that the petitioner has moved this petition to thwart investigations. The court cannot allow itself to be used in such a fashion, which may lead to interference with the investigations, and which has been always frowned upon by the courts,” the single bench of Justice Asha Menon, added, dismissing Ishrafil’s plea.

Jahangirpuri violence

It may be recalled how the Jahangirpuri violence saga began on April 16 when the Hanuman Jayanti procession was attacked by Islamists who pelted stones and glass bottles at the procession. Several people got injured as the violence escalated after 6 pm. They (Islamists) also fired gun stots amid the violence and injured Police personnel.

It is important to note that Ansar, the prime accused in the case is suspected to be associated with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi. He had actively campaigned for the Party during Delhi Elections. 

The Delhi Police has so far arrested 34 people and apprehended three juveniles in the case. One of the minors has been granted bail. The Police have lodged an FIR against the accused under the provisions 147 (Rioting), 148 (Armed rioting), 186 (Obstructing duty of public servant), 353 (Assault on public servant), 307 (Murder attempt), 427 (property damage), and 436 (Attack by explosives) of the Indian penal code along with section 27 of the Arms Act 1959.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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