The owner of a school, who was arrested in connection with the riots in northeast Delhi this February, will remain in custody, the Delhi High Court has ordered after the police challenged his bail order granted by the lower court last week. A notice has also been issued to Faisal Farooq, the owner of Rajdhani Public School in Shiv Vihar,, and the case will be heard tomorrow.
In its order, the lower court had observed that despite police allegations, the chargesheet did not provide any evidence of terror funding or his alleged links with Pinjra Tod group, the Popular Front of India and Muslim clerics. The court also said the prima facie evidence suggested that he was not present at the spot at the time of incident.
Faisal Farooq was accused of instructing a mob to vandalise and set fire to the adjacent DRP Convent School, two parking lots and a sweet shop, where a man had died.
Farooq had claimed that he was not at the school when the rioters used his building as a base. He also said that he had tried to approach the police for help.
One of the guards of the school was kept hostage for nearly three days as rioters went on rampage. They had used ropes to climb down from the school's terrace into the compound of the neighbouring DRP Convent School which was then set on fire. The mob had also made off with the computers and other expensive items from DRP Convent School.
In the chargesheet, the police alleged that he was in touch with the members of Popular Front of India, Pinjra Tod group, Jamia Coordination Committee, Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz and religious leaders of Deoband for triggering the riots.
"Rioters had camped inside and fired bullets from the terrace of Rajdhani School. They also threw petrol bombs, acid, bricks, stones and other missiles using an improvised large iron catapult, specially installed for the purpose, from the terrace of Rajdhani School," the chargesheet read.
In its bail order, the court said the police "chargesheet is bereft of material showing the links of applicant with PFI, Pinjra Tod group and Muslim clerics". The court also added, "It is prima facie not established that the applicant was present at the spot at the time of incident."
The court also said, "There is hardly any material to substantiate the allegation of terror funding."
The court also noted that there were contradictions in the statements of witnesses and the investigating officer had tried to file a supplementary statement of a prosecution witness "to cover up the deficiency".
About the iron catapult found on the roof of the school, which was allegedly used by the rioters, the court said that on the basis of records, it was found 16 days after the incident. If the presence of the accused could not be established, then the slingshot could not be attributed to him.
Regarding police allegations that the accused had mobile conversations with a woman who had links with Saiful Islam Law Faculty, the court observed that she was "in fact a reporter" with a newspaper.
The police had also alleged that Farooq had conversations with 4 other people, but the court pointed out that one was an advocate, another was the applicant's cousin and the third was a local MLA whose children attend the school.