A Delhi court on Monday convicted a man for being part of a mob that set a house on fire during the riots in the national capital in February 2020, reported PTI. This is the first conviction in the Delhi riots cases.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat found 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 judge will announce the sentencing on December 22. The maximum punishment under these sections have a jail term of up to 10 years.
“It is great to share that the first conviction order has been issued today in respect of North-East Riot cases,” Sanjay Kumar Sain, the deputy commissioner of police of North East district, said in a statement.
Yadav was among a mob of about 200 people who had trespassed into the house of a woman, vandalised it, committed robbery and then set it blaze on February 25, 2020, according to the complaint filed by the 73-year-old victim, reported The Hindu. The first information report in the case was lodged on March 4.
Yadav was arrested on June 8 last year. The court had framed charges against him on August 3 this year, to which he had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
Yadav’s lawyers had argued that the police had arrested only his client even though the incident had been committed by a large mob and had not made any recovery of incriminating evidence from him, reported The Indian Express. His lawyers had claimed that he was falsely implicated and pointed to a eight-day delay in registering the first information report.
The prosecution, however, contended that Yadav was an “active member of the riotous mob” and that he was identified by the complainant in her supplementary statement. The police also presented two police witnesses and a public witness in the case.
While this is the first conviction in the Delhi violence cases, the first verdict was passed in July. In that case, the court had acquitted a man accused of rioting and looting. The judge delivering the verdict had noted that the prosecution had failed miserably to prove its case.
Clashes had broken out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and February 26, 2020, in North East Delhi. At least 53 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the violence.