Representational image
Representational image
Photo: PTI

Delhi police filed a charge sheet before a court here on Sunday against six persons in a case of alleged murder of an 85-year old woman, who choked to death when her house was torched during the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February.

The crime branch filed the charge sheet before Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Kumar Rampuri against six persons who were allegedly part of a mob that set fire to Akbari Begum's house leading to her death.

The court has put up the matter for consideration of the charge sheet on June 21.

The charge sheet was filed against Arun Kumar, Varun Kumar, Vishal Singh, Ravi Kumar, Prakash Chand, and Suraj Singh for offences of rioting (147 an 148), unlawful assembly (149), murder (302), attempt to murder (307), dacoity with murder (396), mischief by fire (436), trespass (455), causing disappearance of evidence (201), disobedience of public servant's order (188) and common intention (34) under the Indian Penal Code. All the accused are in judicial custody.

The offences entail a maximum punishment of death penalty.

The crime branch has filed 13 charge sheets till now in cases related to northeast Delhi riots. It was investigating 59 cases related to murder and rioting.

According to the charge sheet, on February 25, when the mob torched Begum's house, while other members escaped to the roof, the octogenarian could not reach the rooftop.

She subsequently died due to asphyxia (suffocation to inhalation of smoke) and her charred body was found on a folding bed, police said.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of her son Saeed Salmani who had a garment shop on the ground floor of the building.

In his complaint, he said his four-storey building was allegedly torched by the mob, destroying his garment workshop, burning his house and looting jewellery and cash from them too. Salmani had gone out to purchase milk when the incident took place, the complaint said. Begum's charred body was recovered when the police officials and the fire department were able to douse the fire successfully, the police said. Her family members were rescued from the rooftop.

The charge sheet said six persons were arrested based on the videos that went viral on social media, statements of police officials who rescued her family members, statements of eyewitnesses and other technical evidence including call detail records.

Further investigation is going on to identify other accused in the case, police added.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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