Delhi High Court grants bail to ragpicker, arrested in connection with riots

The case pertains to the riots in Delhi that occurred on April 16, and the high court noted the non-identification of the accused in the CCTV coverage of the incident.

THE Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted regular bail to a 19-year-old ragpicker who was arrested by the police in connection with the Delhi riots that occurred on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti earlier this year.

Justice Yogesh Khanna noted that petitioner, Jahid, had not been identified in any of the CCTV coverage.

“He is aged about 18-19 years and is running in custody since 17.04.2022. The charge sheet has since been filed, hence the investigation against the petitioner stood completed”, Justice Khanna added.

This case pertains to rioting that took place in Delhi’s Jahangir Puri area on April 16 this year.  The procession was earlier peaceful but when it reached C Block Jama Masjid at approximately 6 pm, it led to some argument culminating in stone pelting.  During the firing by rioters, one Sub-Inspector,  Meda Lal, Police Station, Jahangir Puri sustained a bullet injury in his left hand and  serious injuries were caused to eight police officers and one member of the public.  The violence resulted in damages to private vehicles.

The rioting and arson resulted in registration of an FIR under sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 332, 307, 323, 427, 436 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) and 27 of the Arms Act on the statement of Inspector Rajeev Ranjan. During the investigation, Section 333, 109, 120B, 34 IPC and 25 of the Arms Act were also added to the case.

On the basis of the CCTV footage and identification by witnesses, 37 persons have been arrested and two Children-in-conflict with law(CCLs) have also been apprehended. As many as nine firearms and nine swords have been recovered in this case. Large numbers of accused persons are at large and efforts are being made to arrest the co-accused persons and recover the firearms.

In his plea, Jahid argued that no specific role direct or indirect had been attributed to him. He asserted that he was falsely implicated. He submitted that the subsistence of his whole family is dependent on his earnings as he is the sole bread earner of his family.  Jahid was represented by advocates Lalit Bhardwaj and Rizwan Ahmed. While Additional Public Prosecutor Hardeep Singh Popli appeared for the Delhi police to oppose the bail.