Delhi riots: Court dismisses Tahir Hussain’s bail plea
Hussain had in his interviews before his arrest had said that he was a riot victim and not an accused. He had also claimed that his family members had to flee the neighbourhood during the riots because they were feeling unsafeUpdated: Oct 22, 2020, 14:52 IST
A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the bail application of Tahir Hussain, the suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor from Nehru Vihar, in the three first information reports (FIRs) registered against him in connection with the north-east Delhi riots that had broken out in February.
The court observed that during the communal riots Hussain had held a powerful post of a councillor.
“It is prima facie apparent that Hussain abused his muscle power and political clout to act as a kingpin in planning, instigating and fanning the flames of communal conflagration,” the court said.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said that there is enough material on record to presume that Hussain “was present at the spot of crime and was exhorting the rioters of a particular community and as such, he did not use his hands and fists, but rioters as ‘human weapons’, who at his instigation could have killed anybody”.
Hussain’s legal counsels have in the past denied all the allegations and said that he was a victim of political rivalry.
Hussain had in his interviews before his arrest had said that he was a riot victim and not an accused.
He had also claimed that his family members had to flee the neighbourhood during the riots because they were feeling unsafe.
“It is common knowledge that the dreary day of February 24 saw parts of north-east Delhi gripped by a communal frenzy, reminiscent of carnage during the days of partition. Soon, the riots spread like wildfire across the smoke-grey skyline of the national capital, engulfing new areas and snuffing out several innocent lives. The Delhi riots are a gaping wound in the conscience of a nation aspiring to be a major global power,” the judge said in his 18-page order.
The judge, while dismissing the bail plea, said that the allegations against Hussain are “extremely grave in nature”.
He said “even if there were no direct acts of violence attributable to the accused, he cannot shy away from his liability under the provisions of the sections invoked against him, particularly on account of the fact that his house became the hub for the rioters and rabble-rousers to unleash the worst communal riots since the partition in Delhi.”
He added: “The spread of riots on such a big scale in such a short time is not possible without a premeditated conspiracy. At this stage, I am reminded of a famous English saying that goes ‘when you choose to play with embers, you cannot blame the wind to have carried the spark a bit too far and spread the fire’ ”.
The judge said: “When the applicant (Hussain) is at the receiving end, he cannot pass the buck. He cannot plead that he had no role to play since he did not participate physically in the riots. It is prima facie apparent that the applicant abused his muscle power and political clout to foment communal violence in the area.”
Delhi Police’s Special Cell has charged Hussain for rioting, murder and inciting rioters. He has also been charged for hatching a conspiracy to orchestrate the riots and funding the communal carnage.
Several civil society members and student activists have criticised the Delhi Police for its lopsided investigation into the riots, which had claimed 53 lives and left around 400 injured.