A court in Delhi on Tuesday framed charges against Shahrukh Pathan, the man who was seen pointing a gun at a policeman during the February 2020 violence in the Capital, Live Law reported.

Photos of Pathan holding the gun on a street in North East Delhi had gone viral on social media.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat on Tuesday also framed charges against Shamim, Abdul Shehzad, Ishtiyaq Malik and Kaleem Ahmed. Pathan, Shamim, Shehzad and Malik have been charged for attempted murder, rioting, obstructing a public servant and unlawful assembly.

Pathan has also been charged with sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act, which deal with illegally using guns. Ahmed has been charged for harbouring an offender.

The court reportedly said that it was apparent that Pathan led a group of rioters who targeted Head Constable Deepak Dahiya, according to The Indian Express. The judge referred to video footage showing that Pathan raised his pistol straight and not sideways, and aimed for Dahiya’s head.

“Usually after firing or pulling the trigger, there is a jerk, and the hands and pistol are raised because of it,” the judge said. “Thus, even the video shows that firing by the accused Shahrukh Pathan from the pistol in daylight was with an aim to kill Dahiya.”

Pathan’s lawyer had demanded that his client be discharged from the case, claiming that he did not kill the policeman although he had the chance to do so, and instead fired in the air.

The court, however, did not accept the argument.

“In any event, this incident occurred in a flash of seconds and to diminish the valour of a brave policeman by arguing it as an act of magnanimity of accused Shahrukh Pathan in not killing the policeman victim, is neither palatable nor legally sound,” the court said, according to The Indian Express.

The judge said that Dahiya stood his ground and even showed his baton to the accused person.

Pathan’s lawyer also alleged that there were some discrepancies in the statements of some police personnel in relation to the case. The court, however, said that they could be examined at the stage of the trial.

The judge noted that this was not an ordinary case of an unlawful act. “These riots are of such a nature as has not been witnessed since the Sikh Riots of 1984,” he noted, according to Live Law.

Delhi violence

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.

On Monday, a Delhi court convicted a man for being part of a mob that set a house on fire during the riots. This was the first conviction in cases related to the violence.