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“The mob intended to kill Hindus”: Delhi court frames charges against former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and 5 others in 2020 Delhi riot case

The Karkardooma District Court of Delhi framed charges against former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, his brother Shah Alam, Tanveer Malik, Gulfam, Nazim, and Kasim.

On Thursday, 13th October 2022, a Delhi Court framed charges on former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Councilor Tahir Hussain, his brother Shah Alam, and four other accused in connection with the anti-Hindu riots that took place in North-East Delhi in 2020. Justice Pulastya Pramachala, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) heard the case in the Karkardooma District Court of Delhi and framed charges against former AAP councilor Tahir Hussain, his brother Shah Alam, Tanveer Malik, Gulfam, Nazim, and Kasim.

All six accused were charged by the court under Section 120B, read with Sections 147, 148, 149, 153A, 302, and 307 of the Indian Penal Code, while Gulfam and Tanveer were additionally charged with crimes punishable by Section 27 of the Arms Act.

ASJ Pramachala noted that the mob’s actions were the result of a criminal conspiracy, and all defendants are subject to trial for conceiving a plot to commit riot, kill Hindus, and damage Hindu property. Ajay Jha was shot as a result of the same conspiracy. The court stated that the indiscriminate firing at others ‘clearly demonstrates that this mob intended to kill Hindus, and it cannot be claimed that the accused were unaware of the mob’s goal.’  

Notably, Ajay Jha was injured by a gunshot in the Chand Bagh Khajoori Khas neighbourhood, according to an FIR filed in February 2020 at Dayalpur Police Station by the Shushrut Trauma Center in Delhi. While being examined, Jha informed the ASI that he was wounded on February 25, 2020, when he reached Tahir Hussain’s home and was heading towards Chand Bagh. At that time, he spotted a group of individuals on Hussain’s terrace tossing petrol bombs and stones at surrounding homes while also shooting bullets.

According to Jha, Tahir Hussain, his brother Shah Alam, and others were “raising religious slogans” while hurling petrol bombs and flinging stones at Hindu residences. Jha testified that three youngsters approached him and began throwing stones at him, while a resident Gulfam fired shots at him, injuring his shoulder and chest. He identified Gulfam and named the other members of the mob who are the subject of the FIR. Jha said that he did not provide his statement on the day of the incident because he was injured.

Acknowledging this, the court said, “Just because statements of the eyewitnesses were recorded in the case at a belated stage, without affording an opportunity to the prosecution and the witnesses to explain the reasons, the court cannot declare them to be unreliable.”

The court added, “Secondly, one must not forget that at the relevant time riots continued in Delhi for some days. Delhi Police and other security forces were pressed into service to stop the riots. Hence, the focus of the police was more on the aspect of controlling the riots rather than start investigating each incident of the riots.”

Even victims and witnesses lacked the confidence to lodge accusations against anybody, according to the court, thus it was clear that nothing could be expected to go according to plan during a crisis. Their personal security was more important to them. Following that, there was a complete lockdown as people battled the Covid epidemic.

The court further said, “Indiscriminate firing at others makes it clear that this mob consciously wanted to even kill Hindus. It cannot be said that the accused persons were oblivious to the objective of this mob. Apparently, this was an unlawful assembly, acting in pursuance of the aforesaid object. Therefore, if police are prosecuting accused persons separately for separate incidents, it cannot be said that they are being prosecuted for the same facts and the same cause of action in different cases. Accused persons have to be prosecuted for every criminal act and incident, which took place because of their indulging in a riot with a particular common object.”

Role of Tahir Hussain in the Delhi riots

It is notable to mention that Tahir Hussain had earlier confessed in a disclosure statement that he chose his own house as a launchpad for the riots. Given that his house was a high-rise building and was under construction at that time, it was easy to collect stones and bricks without raising any suspicion. 

He confessed that he and his co-conspirators had started collecting stones, bricks, and other ammunition, well in advance so that they could teach those, who were in support of the CAA, a lesson when the time was right. To that end, 2-3 days before the riots broke out, he had also got his licensed pistol released from the police station.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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