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Northeast Delhi riots: City court acquits sole accused

On Tuesday, the Delhi court acquitted an accused booked for rioting, unlawful assembly, and dacoity in connection with the northeast Delhi riots of February 2020. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, Karkardooma court, observed that the testimonies of the witnesses were ‘completely at odds’ and acquitted Suresh Bhatura.

ASJ Rawat noted whether the accused could be identified, adding that it is a ‘clear cut case of acquittal’. A written complaint led to the registration of the FIR over an incident on February 25, occurring at shop number 27/5, Main Babarpur Road. Bhagat Singh owned the shop, which he leased to Asif. According to the complaint filed by Singh, the shop owner, he saw 15 to 20 rioters approaching the shop at around 4 p.m. It was further alleged that the rioters, who were armed with iron rods and sticks, broke into the shop and looted several items, the details of which were included in the complaint.

In addition, Singh claimed ‘certain people’ had incited others to damage and loot his shop because it was ‘owned by a Muslim’. According to Singh’s statement, he was also ‘threatened with consequences’. Singh ran to the nearest police chowki, where he met the beat officer, head constable Sunil, and informed him of the situation.

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The court framed charges on March 9, 2021. Prosecution arguments began on March 18 and ended on March 23. The accused, Bhatura, gave a statement to the court on March 25 and stated that he does not wish to present any evidence in the case. Final arguments were heard on March 30 and the final judgment was due on April 12. It was, however, postponed due to a variety of reasons.



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