The Delhi Police on Wednesday filed another set of chargesheets in connection with the communal violence that took place in the Northeast district in February this year.
The two chargesheets filed deal with the murder of Intelligence Bureau employee Ankit Sharma and the violence near Rajdhani School in Shiv Vihar respectively.
Details of the Ankit Sharma case can be found here.
There are two broad aspects to the chargesheet filed in the Rajdhani School case: the violence that took place and the alleged criminal conspiracy.
The violence at Rajdhani Public School in Shiv Vihar took had taken place on 24 February. The case has been registered on the complaint of the owner of DRP Convent Public School, located adjacent to Rajdhani School.
According to a press note released by the Delhi police after filing the charge sheet, “The rioters had camped inside and fired bullets from the terrace of Rajdhani School. They also threw petrol bombs, acid, bricks, stones and other missiles using an improvised large iron catapult, specially installed for the purpose, from the terrace of Rajdhani School. The rioters had used ropes to climb down from the terrace of Rajdhani School into the compound of DRP Convent School and then the mob had set the school on fire.”
The police further alleges that, “The mob had looted the computers and other expensive items from DRP Convent School. They had also burned down a building belonging to Anil Sweets, which stood right in front of Rajdhani School, on the other side of the road. Dilbar Negi, an employee with Anil Sweets, was trapped inside and his charred dead body was found later by the police”.
The Quint had reported in detail regarding the damage caused to the schools in Shiv Vihar due to the violence.
Eighteen persons, including Faisal Farooque, who is the owner of Rajdhani School, have been arrested in this case and charges under Sections 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 307, 395, 436, 455, 120B, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act have been invoked.
According to the police’s theory, “ On his (Farooque’s) instructions, the adjacent and rival DRP Convent School, 2 parking lots run by the other party and the building of Anil Sweets was systematically destroyed by the mob. This is evident from the statement of witnesses, which include the guard at DRP School and his own guard at Rajdhani School”.
The Alleged Conspiracy
The police has accused Farooque of “hatching a conspiracy” to conduct the violence.
“During investigation it has been found that Faisal Farooque had hatched a conspiracy to precipitate and aggravate riots, in and around Rajdhani School”.
As part of this theory, the police has claimed that Farooque is linked to a number of organisations such as Tablighi Jamaat Markaz, Pinjra Tod, Jamia Coordination Committee and Darul Uloom Deoband.
It has also described Deoband as “fundamentalist” even though the seminary has consistently spoken against extremism and even issued a fatwa against terrorism.
“His call detail analysis and links with prominent members of Popular Front of India, PinjraTod group, Jamia Coordination Committee, Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz and some other fundamental muslim clerics including Deoband also show the depth of the conspiracy. In fact, it has been found that Faisal Farooque had visited Deoband just one day before the riots started, i.e. on 23.2.2020,” the police has claimed.
The police further alleges that on the day of the violence, Muslim children left the school early.
“Evidence of conspiracy is further brought out by the fact that on the day of riots, i.e. 24.2.2020, many children from Muslim families left the school early, along with their parents, during the half time recess itself,” the police said.
However, when The Quint had spoken to locals in the vicinity of the school, they said that not just Muslim children but even Hindu children left early that day and that this happened even in the neighbouring school as well.
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