Court denies bail to AAP leader Tahir Hussain in IB staffer’s murder in Delhi riots
The court said that the possibility of Tahir Hussain threatening the witnesses cannot be ruled out if he is released at this stage.Updated: Jul 13, 2020 16:25 IST
A Delhi court on Monday denied bail to former Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain in connection with the murder of IB official Ankit Tiwari during the north-east Delhi riots, adding that Hussain was present at the crime spot and used rioters as “human weapons, who on his instigation could have killed anybody”.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav refused to grant bail to Hussain, who had been charge sheeted by the Delhi police for playing a “pivotal role in the incident”, while stating that there is “enough material” on record by way of witness accounts.
“….There is enough material on record to presume that Hussain was very well 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 used rioters as “human weapons”, who on his instigation could have killed anybody.
“It is again a matter of record that the investigation in the matter is still under progress as some other persons have to be apprehended. Statement of two more persons have been recorded by crime branch on July 7 namely Rahul Kasana and Girish Pal, who both have stated about the conspiracy of communal riots hatched at the residence of applicant on February 24,” the judge said in his 21-page order.
The court said that the possibility of Hussain threatening the witnesses also cannot be ruled out if he is released at this stage. It said that the riots in the area of north-east Delhi were carried out in an organised manner and as part of deep-rooted conspiracy and Hussain’s involvement is being investigated with regard to his connection with members of PFI, Pinjra Tod, Jamia Coordination Committee, United Against Hate Group and anti-CAA protesters.
Appearing for Hussain, his counsel Javed Ali had contended that there is no cogent evidence which is admissible in the eyes of law to connect his client in the alleged murder of Ankit Sharma. He said that there is a delay in recording the statements of the witnesses and Hussain was not present at the spot on the day of the incident.
The court, however, said that “the statements of witnesses can be said to be delayed when the witnesses are known to the police and yet police do not record their statements; whereas, in a case of rioting, police hardly have any idea as to who were the witnesses”.
“Further, people normally do not come forward and it is an admitted position on record that on the date of incident nearly 10,000 PCR calls were recorded in the area of PS Dayalpur. Thereafter, on the basis of these calls, police called back and traced out some of the witnesses. Therefore, at this stage, it cannot be said that there is delay in recording of statements of witnesses by the investigating agency,” said the court.
Advocate Javed Ali for Hussain also submitted that there is no evidence by way of video footage or CCTV footage to prove that Hussain was present at the scene of crime at the time of incident.
Further, there is no evidence of abetment or conspiracy to kill Ankit Sharma, Ali added. He also said that one of the co-accused Haseen had categorically admitted in his extra-judicial confession about murder of Ankit Sharma by him alone, which clearly exculpates Hussain.
However, opposing the bail application, the public prosecutor told the court that several prosecution witnesses have clearly identified Hussain at the scene of crime, instigating the rioters of a particular community and exhorting them to kill the people of other communities.
The PP said that the witnesses have deposed before the magistrate that Hussain had incited the religious feelings of rioters from a particular community, as a consequence the rioters killed Ankit Sharma.
The city police’s crime branch had earlier filed a charge sheet against 15 people, including Hussain and his younger brother Shah Alam. The police had contended here was recovery of crates containing glass bottles having some liquid filled in them and their necks stuffed with pieces of cloth. It said that these were as “Molotov cocktails” while adding that a large number of bricks, stone pieces and three catapults were also seized from Hussain’s house. It said that this point towards the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for causing riots in the area.