Delhi violence: Court seeks police reply on bail plea of man who pointed gun at policeman

New Delhi, May 6 (PTI) A Delhi court Wednesday sought the police response on a plea by Shahrukh Pathan, who allegedly pointed a gun at a head constable during the communal violence in northeast Delhi, seeking bail on the ground that jails are overcrowded and pose a higher risk of catching coronavirus.  Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar Malhotra issued notice to the investigating officer in the case and sought response on the bail application by May 8.  Advocate Asghar Khan, representing Pathan, sought bail for the accused contending that there was a delay of two days in lodging of the FIR.  He said that due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, it is unsafe to remain in jail as it is not possible to maintain social distancing due to overcrowding.  The accused sought bail saying he has been languishing in jail for over a month now.  The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday asked a trial court to ensure that if Pathan files a bail plea, it is heard within two days.  Following the high court's direction, Khan withdrew the bail application and sought liberty to approach the sessions court with the bail plea.   Khan had told the high court that a bail application was filed before the sessions court earlier but it was not taken up for hearing on the ground that there is no urgency in the matter.  Pathan, 23, whose picture showing him pointing a gun at unarmed Delhi Police head constable Deepak Dahia during the communal riots went viral on social media, was arrested on March 3 from Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district.  The police registered a case against him under the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act.   The police said it recovered the pistol that Pathan had allegedly pointed at the police official, from his house.   After opening fire, he kept the pistol at home and fled from the city in a car, police had said.  In the viral video, Pathan, a resident of northeast Delhi's Ghonda, could be seen pointing his pistol at the policeman on the Jaffrabad-Maujpur road on February 24.  Police had said after seeing himself on news channels following the incident, Pathan changed his clothes and fled to Punjab. He then moved to Bareilly in UP before hiding at a friend's house in Shamli in the state.   In February, clashes broke out in northeast Delhi between the groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, in which at least 53 people died and about 200 were injured. PTI URD UK SA