New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday ordered the framing of rioting, arson, and other charges against former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain and others for "prima facie" hatching a conspiracy to target the people of the "Hindu community" and their properties in February 2020.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat ordered the framing of charges against Hussain, Anas, Firoz, Javed, Gulfam, and Sohaib Alam.
The court ordered the accused on trial for various offences punishable under sections, including 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees or more), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy the house, etc.) and 395 (dacoity) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court further ordered the framing of charges under sections 109 (punishment of abetment) and 114 (abettor present when the offence is committed) against Hussain.
"It prima-facie appears that the riotous incident in question was committed in pursuance to a well-hatched conspiracy and after elaborate preparations as also in the execution of the well-thought plan," the judge said.
He said that the circumstances "nowhere indicated that it was a spontaneous act", but clearly revealed that there had been "an agreement between the accused to commit vandalisation and arson in the properties belonging to Hindu community from the building of Tahir Hussain" and that elaborate preparation had been done to execute the plan.
The judge also noted from the testimony of one of the witnesses, who said that Hussain was leading the Muslim rioters and instigating them to "teach a lesson to infiddles (Kafirs)" and upon instigation, the rioters became very violent and started pelting stones.
The witness further stated that some of the rioters were on the roof of Hussain's house throwing stones, petrol bombs, etc. from there.
"It is, thus, evident that the accused Hussain was not only a mere conspirator but an active rioter also. He was not a mute spectator but was taking an active part in the riots and instigating the other members of the unlawful assembly to teach a lesson to the persons belonging to other community," the court said.
Therefore, apart from being charged with the offence of conspiracy, he is also liable to be charged for the offence of rioting, arson, etc., the judge said.
The FIR was lodged on the complaint of a businessman, Karan, whose godown was allegedly vandalized and set ablaze in the Khajuri Khas area in Chand Bagh, Delhi on February 25, 2020.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons had hatched a conspiracy to commit riots in the Khajuri Khas area and target the people of the Hindu community as well as their properties.
In pursuance of the conspiracy, the accused formed an unlawful assembly, which was being led by accused Tahir Hussain.
Some valuables lying in the complainant's godown were also stolen by the rioters, he claimed.