Delhi riots: 1,356 accused still in judicial custody, says Asthana

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Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Thursday said 1,356 persons accused in the infamous northeast Delhi riots are still in judicial custody and the investigation is still underway in several cases.

“Several cases are still under investigation because until and unless we identify the accused, we can’t file a charge sheet. So whatever digital evidence we have, using facial recognition technology, we are trying to complete the investigation in the pending cases,” said the Delhi Police chief while addressing the annual presser.

He said, “those cases in which a charge sheet has been filed, if there is trial or even a re-trial, we are trying our best to present the police’s investigation in the courts in a better way.”

The communal riots broke out in the national capital in February, 2020, during which 53 people were killed. Since then the Delhi Police has been investigating the riots and has detained and produced several accused persons before the courts.

The Commissioner informed that the police registered over 700 cases in the riots, of which around 62 cases, in which murders happened, are being investigated by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police while one case of larger conspiracy is being investigated by the Special cell. “The rest of the cases are being probed by local police stations,” he said.

Speaking about charge sheets filed in the said cases till now, the Delhi Police chief informed that they have already filed 100 charge sheets. “Among these, charges have also been framed in several cases,” he said.

The Commissioner further informed to streamline the investigation that was done during the riots and even after the riots, a Special Team under North DCP and Special CP Zone-1 was constituted and many supplementary charge sheets were also filed.

Sharing the exact figures of the riot cases, Asthana said, “Total number of 758 FIRs were registered, 2,456 arrests made, of which 1,053 were released on bail; 1,356 still continue to be in judicial custody.”

“The charge sheet has been filed against 1,610 accused, cognizance was taken in 338 cases. Among the total charge sheet filed, in 100 cases charges have been framed, the trial has started and so far two have been convicted,” the police chief added.

Speaking on the quality of the investigation of the northeast Delhi communal riots, Commissioner said, “As far as the quality of the investigation is concerned, the figure of cognizance taken, the figure of charges framed and keeping in view the observations made by the courts, whatever improvements are to be made, we’re doing it.”

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