School principal arrested in Delhi violence case gets bail
The court also said that another witness, Geeta, who was Roop Singh’s wife, also did not say a word about having seen the accused on the spot on the date of the incident.Updated: Jun 21, 2020 01:10 IST
A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail toFaisal Farooq, principal of Rajdhani Public School, who was earlier charged with hatching a conspiracy to precipitate and aggravate riots in and around his school. The court observed that the CCTV footage did not show Farooq’s presence at the place where the riots had broken out.
Duty Judge Vinod Yadav said that the statement of one of the witnesses, Roop Singh, on March 8 had claimed that he had seen Farooq on the spot . He had also claimed to have heard Farooq asking the school guard to permit some people inside the school.
However, later in his statement recorded before the magistrate on March 11, he did not say a word about having seen the accused at the scene or having heard him saying anything to the school guard.
The court, while granting bail, said that to “cover up” the deficiency in statement of the witness, the Investigating Officer (IO) recorded a supplementary statement of Singh claiming that he had got scared before magistrate which is why he could not state the correct facts. The IO had moved an application before the court for getting this new fact added to his statement. However, it was dismissed by the judge, the court noted in its order.
“It is clearly apparent that there are contradictions in the various statements of this witness about applicant,” the court said. It also noted that Farooq kept calling the police to report the damage to his school (Rajdhani Public School) from February 24, but FIR in his case was not recorded and it was ultimately recorded on March 5.
The court also said that another witness, Geeta, who was Roop Singh’s wife, also did not say a word about having seen the accused on the spot on the date of the incident. It said that another witness Manoj, who was admittedly the guard at the Rajdhani school, has merely stated that Farooq had come to the main gate and had spoken to some people outside.
“From the aforesaid statements, it is prima-facie not established that the applicant was present at the spot at the time of incident. It is an admitted position that several CCTV cameras were lying installed at Rajdhani Public School at various places, the footages whereof have been thoroughly scrutinized by the Investigating Agency but the presence of the applicant therein is not there. If the applicant (Farooq) was not present at the scene of occurrence then his involvement in the offences cannot be made out,” the judge in his order.
The court also noted that “except bald allegation,” there is no material to substantiate that Farooq had spoken to several people related to communal riots.
“When the IO was confronted in this regard then he stated that further investigation on the aspect of terror funding is under way.....,” the court said.
The court, while stating that the accused had made a good case for bail, also noted, “It is made clear that nothing in this order shall be construed an expression on the merits of evidence to be adduced in the matter.”
The police also charge sheeted 18 people in connection with the riots that broke out at Rajdhani Public School, while naming its principal, Farooq ,for hatching a conspiracy to precipitate and aggravate riots, in and around the school. According to the police, it was on Farooq’s directions that the adjacent and rival convent school, two parking lots run by the other party and the building of one Anil Sweets were systematically destroyed by the mob.
Police said in the charge sheet that the call detail analysis of Farooq’s phone suggested that the he had links with prominent members of Popular Front of India, Pinjra Tod group, Jamia Coordination Committee, Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz and some other fundamental muslim clerics, including Deoband, which indicated the depth of the conspiracy.
Police in a charge sheet have said that 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 the school.
HT contacted police crime branch chief Praveer Ranjan and police spokesperson Mandeep Randhawa but despite many calls and text message, there was no response.
Confirming the order, Farooq’s lawyer Gaurav Kochar said he had contended that there was no material on record about the physical presence of the applicant at the spot at the time of riots.
He also told the court that there was a delay of 11 days in the registration of FIR in the matter which was unexplained and pointed towards concoction of the false implication in the matter.