By LE Desk

New Delhi, May 21: The Delhi High Court today declined to grant bail to an accused in a case of murder connected to the Northeast Delhi riots. 

The body of 19-year-old Hashim Ali was found in Bhagirathi Vihar Nala along with two more corpses on February 27 last year.

“As per post mortem report, 42 grievous injuries were found on the person of the deceased which proved fatal for him. The case is pending at the stage of framing of charge. Besides the present case, the petitioner is implicated in eight other FIR cases and the apprehension expressed by prosecution that if released on bail, the petitioner may threaten or influence the witnesses, is not misplaced,” said Justice Suresh Kumar Kait in the order while denying bail to accused Pankaj Sharma, The Indian Express reported.

According to the police investigation, three persons Mohit Sharma, Shivam Bhardwaj and Dimple Rai were found to be “continuously observing” the course of the probe in the case.

Sharma and Bhardwaj were found to be members of WhatsApp group ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’ where many “incriminating messages” were found to be posted by the members especially Lokesh Solanki, as per the police. Solanki later allegedly disclosed that he and others had killed nine persons including Ali and his elder brother Aamir Khan. Sharma, whose bail plea was dismissed on Friday, was also arrested on the basis of a disclosure made by Solanki.

Sharma’s counsel Sanjiv Dagar had argued before the court that statements recorded in the case are either hearsay or people themselves trying to avoid prosecution “as they were seen roaming around the interrogative team when the crime team investigated the crime spot” on March 7 in 2020. Dagar also argued that police has planted witnesses in the case.

However, the police argued before the court that the role of the accused is not confined to participating in the riots but “he is amongst the conspirators who designed the killing of persons belonging to other community.” It also told the court that the call detail record of the accused reveal that he was “present at the crime spot at the time of incident”. The police also submitted that his role in the WhatsApp group is still under scrutiny.

The court said the allegations levelled against the accused are grave in nature and in the alleged incident “a young boy of 19 years has lost his life”. 

“This court is not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner at this stage,” added the bench in its order.

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