Court dismisses bail pleas of 15 in Daryaganj violence

Court dismisses bail pleas of 15 in Daryaganj violence

Family members of protestors arrested for violence during yesterday's rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), wait for their release outside Daryaganj police station

A Delhi court on Monday dismissed bail plea by 15 people, arrested for arson and stone-pelting in Delhi's old city area on Friday during their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register for Citizens, saying the kind of incident and violence they indulged in was not justified and created panic in society.

Metropolitan Magistrate Kapil Kumar remanded all the 15 accused to 14 days judicial custody, saying “allegations against them were very serious and the investigation in the case was just at initial stage".

The court also took into record submissions by the Investigating Officer that all the accused, who were above 21 years of age and were apprehended from the spot for indulging in riot and causing injuries to policemen. Many of the injured police personnel have received treatment in hospital.

“The manner in which the incident in question took place reveals that there was a common object between the accused to achieve the illegal object. The modus operandi adopted by the accused person reflects a prior meeting of mind,” the court said.

The court did not agree to a contention that the Delhi HC Rules with regard to 'trial of riot cases' stated that these kinds of cases were to be handled carefully since the evidence was often of partisan character. “This is not applicable at this stage as it was related to the appreciation of evidence which will come at the stage of the trial,” it said.

Senior advocate Rebecca M John, appearing for Mohd Athar and 14 others, the accused belonged to poor strata of society as someone is a tailor and the other, a carpenter. She claimed the accused were picked up when they were returning from offering their prayers at Jama Masjid, showing “high-handedness and arbitrariness on the part of police officials.”

The counsel also said the car which was put on fire was private property, so there was no reason to invoke provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

Opposing the bail plea, the public prosecutor said the accused committed violence in the name of protest. The accused hatched a conspiracy put a car, parked outside DCP Central office, on fire, pelted stones, broke the barricades and assaulted the police personnel. Many video footages have emerged, which were being analysed, he said, pointing out as many as 17 police personnel suffered injuries and were being treated at hospitals.

He said the Friday prayer was already over but the accused intentionally took the law into their hands. Many of their associates were absconding. He said repeated request from mosque not to indulge in any violence fell on deaf ears. All of them were arrested from the spot.

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