Of the 541 first information reports against persons who allegedly damaged public and private property during the Delhi riots in February 2020, investigation is yet to be completed in 213 cases and trial is pending in 276 of them, the police told the High Court on Tuesday, reported Live Law.
The police made the statement in a counter-affidavit filed on a petition seeking recovery of damages from the persons who allegedly destroyed property during the riots.
Communal violence had broken out in North East Delhi between February 23 and February 26, 2020 as supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing the law clashed. The violence claimed 53 lives and hundreds were injured. The majority of those killed were Muslims.
In its affidavit, the police said that 23 FIRs had been registered on charges of damage to public property, including temples and mosques, while 518 cases of destruction of private property such as shops and houses were filed.
The police also said that eight cases have been decided upon by the court, while the accused persons named in 36 of the FIRs are untraceable. Four cases have been quashed and one FIR has been cancelled. The police did not provide the details for the remaining three FIRs.
The affidavit was submitted on a plea filed by an advocate and a law student claiming that they had visited various places in the city after the violence and were shocked to see damages caused to public properties.
The petition sought setting up a independent machinery to evaluate the damage caused and recover them from the accused persons.
In their affidavit, the police, however, said that the authorities acted promptly, effectively and in a professional manner during the riots.
“It is stated that during the entire period of protest against CAA/NRC and blockades of roads by the protestors, Delhi Police remained vigilant and cautious and took all necessary measures to ensure that the protest may not escalate and the protestors may not breach the law and order situation in the area under the grab of exercising the constitutional rights available with them,” the police said.
They said that the measures taken by the police ensured that the violence was brought under control within a few days and remained confined to a limited area.
The police have also told the court that retired Justice Sunil Gaur has been appointed as claim commissioner for investigating the damages and awarding compensation in connection with the riots.
The High Court will now hear the matter on January 31.