On February 1, a Delhi court had ordered police to register an FIR into the attack on Madina Masjid in North East Delhi by armed rioters, and to carry out a complete investigation. The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mayuri Singh, had directed the Station House Officer of Karawal Nagar police station to register an FIR in the Madina Masjid burning case. The court’s view was that a cognisable offence was made out in the case demanding a thorough investigation.
On March 17, a Delhi court pulled the Delhi Police up for “arresting the complainant” in a case of arson and vandalism at the same mosque. The observations were made by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, who called the arrest absurd and directed DCP (North East) to file a status report on the investigation carried out so far. According to a report in The Indian Express, the judge also summoned SHO (Karawal Nagar) on March 25 with the case diaries.
According to the complaint before the court, as reported by IE, about 20-25 people had gathered in the Madina Masjid Gali on February 25, 2020 allegedly armed with lathis, sticks, acid, rods and petrol bottles. The accused then allegedly broke into the mosque and started destroying everything. The complaint reads, “Some of them took inside the premises of the mosque two LPG cylinders and put them on fire resulting in explosion and huge fire inside the mosque. On the morning of February 26, 2020 one of the accused climbed on top of the Madina Masjid and started chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and then went on to hoisting the saffron flag over the Masjid which resulted in a tensed environment.”
According to the news report the the ACMM said, “As per the allegations contained in the complaint regarding the incident of fire etc. in the Madina mosque, Shiv Vihar, cognisable offence is clearly made out and a proper investigation is required as it cannot be said that all the evidences are within the reach of the complainant, even though he has named some of the persons allegedly involved in the offence.”
The Delhi Police had challenged the order before a Sessions Court. ASJ Yadav, in his order, wrote, “It is really strange that the complaint with regard to burning of house of respondent No. 1 was clubbed with the complaint of one Naresh Chand… and later on the respondent No.1 was arrested in the same matter, meaning thereby that he is not only complainant in the matter, but also an accused, which is an apparent absurdity.”
According to news reports Haji Hasim Ali had also filed a complaint regarding arson and loot at his home in Shiv Vihar. However, Delhi Police clubbed his complaint with another man’s, who reported arson at his shop, in which no accused was named. Police then registered an FIR and arrested Ali on the basis of CCTV footage, reported IE. According to the report police had claimed that Ali was “clearly seen in the footage instigating the mob”. Ali was later granted bail by a court, but Police also clubbed the complaint regarding the mosque, of which Ali is the caretaker, with these FIRs.
It was reported that Ali’s advocate, M R Shamshad, then filed an application in court for police to register a separate FIR into mosque attack, since clubbing it with another would make it “irrelevant”. The court had said “it would be appropriate that an FIR is registered in this matter (the mosque attack) as well…”