Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — A Delhi Court has granted bail to a man Rishabh Chaudhary accused of murdering a Muslim man during the 2020 Northeast Delhi riots, on Friday.
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing the bail plea of Chaudhary in a case of rioting and alleged murder of a man called Mushraff, whose body was found in a drain near Johripur Pulia in Gokalpuri on February 27, 2020.
Chaudhary was accused of being a part of the WhatsApp group “Kattar Hindu Ekta”, which was allegedly created on February 25, 2020, to “take revenge on the Muslim community”, as per police’s chargesheet.
Other members from the same WhatsApp group are also accused of being involved in the murder by conspiring on the group during the Northeast Delhi riots.
According to the postmortem report, Musharaff’s body was found with 12 external injuries and the cause of death was injuries to the brain caused by the impact of external force.
12 men had been charged by the prosecution in this case, accused of rioting and murder. A judge had remarked that this WhatsApp group “had been founded to kill persons belonging to the Muslim community” while laying out the charges against the defendant.
Interestingly, the investigating officer while opposing the bail referred to a statement of an eyewitness recorded by the police in which he named the rioters.
However, the judge in the order remarked, “Eyewitnesses have been examined, but they did not establish the incident in question and the other two remaining witnesses did not claim having seen any person in the mob, I find the applicant to be entitled to bail.”
“Hence, the bail application is allowed and applicant Rishabh Chaudhary is bailed on furnishing a personal bond and surety bond of Rs 30,000 each with one surety,” the judge added.
The court noted that although the statement of this witness was recorded in the presence of a special public prosecutor, the “reply filed by IO today does not match such statement”.
The other accused in the case are Lokesh Kumar Solanki, Pankaj Sharma, Sumit Chaudhary, Ankit Chaudhary, Prince, Jatin Sharma, Vivek Panchal, Himanshu Thakur, Sahil, Sandeep and Tinku Arora.
In February 2020, the violence was triggered in North East Delhi after Hindu right-wing groups linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked sit-in protesters demonstrating against a controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The violence caused more than 53 deaths, mostly Muslims and more than 200 were injured. Shops and houses were burnt down and even places of worship were not spared.
(With inputs from PTI)