In 1st NE Delhi Riots Verdict, Man Accused of Looting, Rioting Acquitted

A Delhi court acquitted a man who had been accused of rioting and dacoity in the northeast Delhi riots.

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A Delhi court on Tuesday, 20 July, acquitted a man who had been accused of participating in unlawful assembly, rioting, and dacoity in the northeast Delhi riots that had shaken the city last year.

This is the first case among the many filed in connection to Delhi riots wherein a verdict has been pronounced, more than a year after the violent episode took place.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, who had presided over the case, observed that the testimonies of the witnesses in the case are contradictory, and that there is no definite identification of the accused, Suresh.

"It is a clear-cut case of acquittal," he said, news agency PTI reported.

Communal clashes had taken over northeast Delhi in February last year. 53 people had been reported dead, hundreds were injured, and property worth crores was destroyed in the violence.


The Case

An FIR had been lodged against Suresh by a shop owner of Main Babarpur road in northeast Delhi, who had stated that a mob of people wielding iron rods, and sticks had broken into his shop and looted it at around 4 pm of 25 February 2020.

According to an Indian Express report, the Delhi court had framed the charges against Suresh on 9 March this year under the following sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): 143 (Punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 147 (Punishment for rioting), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object), 395 (Punishment for dacoity) of the IPC, and 454 (Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment).

On 25 March, the accused had recorded his statement before the court. The final arguments in the case against Suresh were heard by the court on 30 March.

The judgement, which had previously been slated to be announced on 12 April, had reportedly been delayed due to various issues.

(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express)

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