Active member of Hindu mob; Court finds man guilty in Delhi pogrom case

A Delhi court on Monday convicted a man Dinesh Yadav for being part of a Hindu mob that set a 73-year-old Muslim woman’s house on fire during the anti-Muslim pogrom in the national capital in February 2020.

This is the first conviction in the Delhi pogrom cases.

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat found 25-year-old Dinesh Yadav guilty under sections 143 (member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 457 (house trespass), 392 (robbery), 436 (arson) of the Indian Penal Code.

The maximum punishment under these Sections entails a jail term of up to ten years.

“The fact that the accused also belongs to Hindu community and was present in the mob armed with an wooden rod which mob resorted to violence against the Muslims, indicates that he shared the common object of the unlawful assembly. The mere fact that he was not seen entering complainant’s house or vandalizing or looting or putting it on fire, does not mean that he was mere a bystander,” Judge Virender Bhat said.

The matter will now be heard on the arguments on sentencing on 22 December, Live Law reported.

Judge went on to say: “It does not appear that his presence at the incident spot was only because he is a resident of that very area, as sought to be argued by his Ld. Counsel. The circumstances in which the members of Muslim community were identified and beaten, their vehicles damaged and their houses broken open, robbed and set ablaze by the rioters comprising the members of the other community coupled with the object of the unlawful assembly i.e. to assault the Muslims and damage their properties and the fact that the accused was seen amongst the rioters armed with a wooden rod, are sufficient to indicate beyond any doubt that he too shared the common object of the assembly and had knowledge that these types of incidents would be indulged into by the members of the assembly.”

The FIR was lodged on 4 March last year at Gokalpuri police station on a written complaint from a 73-year-old Muslim woman Manori. In her complaint, Manori stated that on 25 February last year, a riotous Hindu mob consisting of 150-200 people had trespassed into her house and committed vandalism, robbery and thereafter put it on fire.

Yadav was identified by the complainant and was also identified by two witnesses namely Aashik and Aarif, nephew of the complainant.

Yadav was arrested in June last year. The court framed charges against him in August this year to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Yadav is also involved in other FIRs 64/2020 and 78/2020 both pertaining to police station Gokalpuri.

On February 23, 2020, violence erupted in northeast Delhi and lasted several days, resulting in the death of 53 people, the majority of them Muslims, and the injury of 250. Approximately 2,000 were displaced.


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