Delhi riots: Charge sheet filed runs into 11 volumes, totalling over 17,000 pages


New Delhi: The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Wednesday (September 16) filed a voluminous charge sheet at Karkardooma court against 15 accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian Penal Code, and Arms Act in connection with a case related to widespread violence in Delhi in February.

The charge sheet has been filed before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat in the FIR 59/2020, u/s 120B, r/w 302/307/124A/153A/109/114/147/148/149/186/212/353/395/427/435/436/452/454/341/34 IPC, 3/4 PDPP Act 1984 and 25/27 Arms Act, and 13/16/17/18 UA(P) Act, police station crime branch, March 6, 2020. 

The riots that broke out in parts of North East Delhi in February 2020 had claimed 53 deaths, and 583 persons were injured. There were destruction and damage to government as well as private properties on a huge scale. Claims amounting to more than Rs 20 crore to compensate for the loss of property have been filed before the GNCTD, which indicates the scale and immense cost of the tragedy.

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The Delhi Police had received over 16,000 PCR calls and registered a total of 751 cases in connection with these riots. 59 cases were assigned to SIT constituted in the Crime Branch, 691 cases were investigated by the district police and one case which was registered on March 6, 2020, to investigate the larger conspiracy behind these riots was assigned to the Special Cell.

In the course of the investigation of the 750 FIRs registered concerning the specific offences committed during the riots, 12 pistols, 121 empty cartridges, 92 live cartridges, 61 glass bottles filled with noxious chemicals and an assortment of sharp-edged weapons have been seized so far by the Delhi Police.

The Special Cell took 195 days to complete the first phase of the investigation. During this period, 747 witnesses have been examined and approximately 75 electronic devices have been seized as part of the investigation. 

Based upon scientific, documentary, and testimonial evidence, a total number of 15 accused have now been charge-sheeted out of the 21 persons arrested so far. The remaining six persons are expected to be charge-sheeted in due course after collecting sufficient evidence and completing statutory and procedural requirements.

The charge-sheet submitted today runs into 11 volumes, totaling over 17,000 pages. The court has been requested to take cognizance of the offences and begin the trial of the charge-sheeted accused persons.

The Special Cell is probing the `conspiracy` angle in the communal riots. The charge sheet has named Tahir Hussain, Devangana Kalita, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Natasha Narwal, Mohammed Pervez Ahmad, Mohammed Ilyas, Saifi Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Meeran Haidar, Safoora Zargar, Shahdab Ahamd, Talseem Ahmad, Salim Malik, Mohammed Salim Khan, and Athar Khan.

Further investigation into the matter is continuing and supplementary charge-sheets are likely to be filed in due course.

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