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Delhi Riots: 18 Months and 2 Court Orders Later, Police Register FIR

Saleem had filed a complaint on 1 March 2020 about how there was an attempt to kill him during the raging violence.

Updated
India
3 min read
Charred remains of a vandalised property set ablaze by rioters in Gokulpuri area of the riot-affected north east Delhi, Wednesday, 26 February.
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Five days after Delhi's Karkardooma court dismissed Delhi Police's review petition and asked it to register an FIR on the complaint of a Delhi riots victim, the cops did so on 30 August.

Saleem had filed a complaint on 1 March 2020 detailing how there was an attempt to kill him on the night of 24 February 2020, when he and his family were at their home in Yamuna Vihar.

This is the second court order that directed the police to file an FIR on Saleem's complaint.

The FIR, which has been accessed by The Quint, was registered under Section 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 336 (rash or negligent act to endanger human life, personal safety) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC as well as Section 27 of the Arms Act.

Saleem is himself an accused in five Delhi riots cases. Initially he was named as an accused under FIR 66/2020 from the Delhi riots which has been registered under sections of rioting, rioting while being armed with deadly weapon, attempt to murder, house trespass and common intention. Then after he moved court for an FIR to be registered on his complaint, he claims the police slapped four other cases against him with similar charges. These are FIR 56/2020, FIR 72/2020, FIR 75/2020 and FIR 122/2020.

What Does Saleem's Complaint Say?

Saleem narrated how his home was attacked by locals, some of whom he knew by name, around 9:30 pm on 24 February.

The accused had allegedly pelted his house with stones and hurled petrol bombs at his roof.

"They shot at us, threw petrol bombs, and pelted stones at my home. I was able to use water and put off the fire. They abused me constantly and threatened to kill us too."
Saleem in his complaint.

The next morning, he and his three brothers packed and fled their home in fear.

Saleem wrote the complaint to the station house officer at Jafrabad police station on 1 March 2020 and also e-mailed the same complaint to the DCP of northeast Delhi thereafter. He requested the police keep him safe and investigate the matter.

After an the FIR was not being registered, Saleem moved court under Section 156/3 of the CrPC for registration of FIR on 18 March last year. Under this section one can move court to direct the police to register an FIR.

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2 Court Orders and a Review Petition

Between March and November 2020, the Metropolitan Magistrate heard the matter and asked the police to register an FIR on 23 November. It detailed how after the disclosure of the offence, an FIR had to be registered.

The police, however, challenged this court order through a review petition at ASJ Amitabh Rawat's court.

In the order from 25 August the court pulled up the police for their investigation. Additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat said instead of investigating the complaint, the police's entire focus was upon the complainant and the accused.

"It does not dwell into the allegations contained in the complaint of the respondent Salim at all. In fact, the entire focus is upon the complainant and accused rather than the alleged offence. Without an investigation which can only begin after registration of a case, the allegations are given a quietus."

He also called the police's arguments in court 'ludicrous' and 'proposterous'.

"... though the case is being investigated by the police, the police themselves know did not that they were investigating the case and, when told, came to realize that they were investigating the matter, the details of which they do not know."
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat

He directed the DCP of northeast Delhi to register an FIR within seven days of recieving the order.

On 30 August, the FIR was registered.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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