Tyre Market in Gokal Puri (Gokal Pur) which have been burnt in Delhi Riots. The market is very near to Gokal puri metro station and next to Dayalpur Police Station/ BANSWALHEAMANT, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

By Betwa Sharma

Delhi: While discharging 11 Muslim men charged with rioting, criminal conspiracy and destruction of public property as communal violence was breaking out in northeast Delhi on 23 February 2020, a judge has found that the police had fabricated the case, using planted witnesses and concocted statements to frame nine of them. 

The police arrested the Muslim men for an attack on an eatery run by a Muslim man carried out by a Hindu mob that was chanting Jai Shri Ram; something the investigating officer (IO) from the Dayalpur police station, Hukum Singh, observed on the night of the violence but he still made a case against the Muslim men. 

Per the prosecution, two rival mobs were present at Sherpur Chowk for and against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.  The controversial law singled out and excluded undocumented Muslims from the path to citizenship, sparking nationwide protests opposed by the government of the Bharatiya Janata Party, right-wing groups and their supporters. 

Additional sessions judge Pulastya Pramchala of the Karkardooma district court observed there were two rival mobs present that night, and Singh himself was a witness to the Hindu mob attack at Mohd Mumtaz’s Sanjar Punjab Chicken Corner that was set on fire. 

“The nature of the mob at Sanjar Punjab Chicken Corner is explicit from the given description by Mohd Mumtaz. In all probability, it was a mob of persons from the Hindu community,” the judge wrote in his order dated 4 March 2024. 

“However, he did not specify the identity of that mob in his FIR and went in to investigate the case on such premise as if he himself was not aware of the identity of such mob. He might not have been able to identify any member of that mob but he could at least note the identity of that particular mob which was behind the arson in the shop of Mohd Mumtaz.”

The judge said that any of the two mobs could have gone on to vandalise property and set the vehicles on fire, and once again, the IO was a witness to the violence that unfolded as the rioters made their way to Chand Bagh pulia.

This story was originally published in article-14.com. Read the full story here.