Arson at Mosque During Delhi Riots: Court Orders Police to Register FIR

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Madina mosque at Shiv Vihar. — Photo courtesy: Scroll.in

The judge rejected the police’s status report of clubbing the matter with other incidents

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — A Delhi court on Monday ordered the registration of an FIR in the burning and desecration of the Madina mosque at Shiv Vihar during north Delhi’s anti-Muslim violence in February last year. The police had refused to file an FIR saying that it was clubbed in other cases.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mayuri Singh directed the SHO of Karawal Nagar police station and rejected the police’s status report of clubbing the matter with other incidents.

“In my considered opinion, FIR is to be registered if a cognisable offence is made out. As per the allegations contained in the complaint regarding the incident of fire, etc. in the Madina mosque, Shiv Vihar, a cognisable offence is clearly made out and a proper investigation is required as it cannot be said that all the evidences are within the reach of the complainant, even though he has named some of the persons allegedly involved in the offence,” said the court order.

The order came after Supreme Court advocate M R Shamsad, representing applicant Hashim Ali, filed application in the court under Cr.P.C. 156(3) under which the magistrate can order the investigation into cognisable offences.

As for desecration of the mosque, the court order referring to the complainant, noted, “As per the facts in the complaint, on 25.02.2020, around 5:45-6 pm, 20-25 people had gathered in the Madina Masjid Gali. Applicant (Hashim Ali) could identify those persons as they were residents of the same locality. The accused persons were armed with lathis, sticks, rods, acid and petrol bottles.

“Those accused persons/ rioters started to break into the mosque and started destroying everything they could lay their hands on. Some of them took inside the premises of the mosque, two LPG cylinders and put them on fire resulting in an explosion and huge fire inside the mosque.

“On the morning of 26.02.2020, one of the accused climbed on top of Madina masjid and started chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and then went on to hoist the saffron flag over the masjid which resulted in a tensed environment”.

In its status report, the police said that the Madina Mosque incident had been clubbed in an FIR filed by Naresh Chand whose son alleged that Ali was instigating the mob during the riots. Ali was also arrested in that case. After coming out on bail, Ali filed a complaint with the police for arson, sabotage and blast in the mosque. His complaint was included in the FIR filed by Chand.

The police claimed that no evidence had come on record against the alleged persons named by Ali in his complaint to the police and no relevant footage was provided by him with regard to arson, sabotaging and looting the mosque.

The police’s submission about the relevant footage and evidence with regard to the burning of the mosque was contrary to the submission to the magistrate who was provided with video footage. “I have also perused contents of video footage provided in a pen drive filed in the court on 27.01.2021,” said the magistrate in the order.

Ordering the investigation in the burning of the mosque, the court said, “In these circumstances, it would be appropriate that an FIR is registered in this matter as well, and a complete investigation is carried out. In these circumstances, SHO PS Karawal Nagar is directed to register an FIR on the facts of the present case under appropriate sections of law without being influenced by the sections, if any, mentioned in the application and take up the investigation”.

The matter will now be heard next Tuesday.

Shamshad expressed his displeasure over the fact that they had to move the court for registering an FIR in the matter.

“The registration of the FIR is an instant thing. The registration of the FIR through the court intervention takes one year. This is a very bad thing for the system. We were forced to go to the court as the FIR was not being registered,” Shamsad told Clarion India.

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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