New Delhi: A Delhi court has acquitted a man, accused in three cases related to the 2020 communal riots in north-east Delhi, saying that he was not identified as a part of the unlawful assembly during the trial, and added that the accused was “implicated” in the case.

District judge Virender Bhat acquitted Praveen Giri in the case related to looting, vandalism of shops in the Karawal Nagar area during the riots on February 25, 2020.

The court noted that the complainants Abdullah, Rashid Amir and Mohammad Ayub did not identify any of the rioters in their examination during the trial.

Communal riots broke out in north-east Delhi after a clash between the pro- and anti-CAA protesters near the Jafrabad Metro station in February. The violence that spread across several localities in the area claimed 53 lives and 700 people were injured.

Prosecution witness constable Shubham deposed that on June 29, 2020, the investigating officer gave him a video clip which he showed to a “secret informer” who identified one boy in that video having long hair as Giri.

“It is, thus, evident that the accused was implicated and arrested in this case on the ground that he was having long hair and a person with long hair had been identified by a secret informer in the video clip which was taken out from the DVR seized from a prosecution witness. The accused was not apprehended on the basis of the statement of any eye witness,” the court said in similar orders in the three cases on May 31.

It further said that one of the prosecution witnesses who claimed to be present near the crime scene did not identify Giri as one of the rioters.

“There is no conclusive evidence on record to suggest that the accused was a member of unlawful assembly on February 25, 2020 which had committed vandalisation/arson in the properties belonging to the three complainants. In view of the nature of the evidence led by the prosecution the accused is liable to be acquitted and hereby acquitted as such,” the court said while acquitting Giri.

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