By LE Desk

New Delhi, June 8, 2021: A Delhi court has denied bail to a man accused of murder and coordinating attacks on a WhatsApp group, ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’, created during the Northeast Delhi riots in February last year.

The accused, Ankit Chaudhary, was denied bail by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, who observed that the applicant was present at the spot and “was exhorting the rioters of a particular community, who on his instigation could have killed anybody”, The Indian Express reported.

The court noted that it had gone through the chats forwarded in the WhatsApp group and stated that “the language used therein appears to be highly communal in nature and clearly promoting disharmony, enmity, and feelings of hatred towards the members of a particular community”.

The present case related to the murder of one Amin, whose body, with several injury marks to the head, was found by the police at Bhaghirath Vihar Nala.

Pradeep Teotia and Jitender Bakshi, the lawyers for the accused, told the court that their client was a “victim of arbitrary and autocratic investigation”.

They argued that this was apparent from the fact that besides the case in hand, “he has been falsely implicated in eight other cases of murder. The applicant has been falsely implicated by the investigating agency merely to hide the “administrative failure of the State in preventing/controlling the communal riots”.

Special Public Prosecutor Rajeev Krishan Sharma, The Indian Express reported, told the court that the applicant was found at the scene of crime through his cell phone location and that he was a member of the WhatsApp group.

The court order read: “It is common knowledge that the dreary days of 25/26 February 2020 saw parts of Northeast Delhi gripped by a communal frenzy, reminiscent of carnage during the days of Partition. Soon, the riots spread like wildfire across the smoke-grey skyline of Capital, engulfing new areas and snuffing out more and more innocent lives. The Delhi riots 2020 are a gaping wound in the conscience of a nation aspiring to be a major global power. The allegations against the applicant are extremely grave in nature.”

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