Delhi Police Forms Special Investigation Cell to Expedite Northeast Delhi Riots Probe

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Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana has formed a Special Investigation Cell (SIC) to monitor the investigation of the northeast Delhi riots. The SIC has been formed to expedite and streamline the investigating besides ensuring proper scrutiny of the riot cases being probed by the northeast district. The order, dated September 19, 2021, a copy of which is with CNN news18, mentioned that the SIC will be chaired by the special commissioner of police (central zone).

Joint commissioner of eastern range under whose jurisdiction the northeast district lies along with deputy commissioner of police of northeast district have also been made members to the SIC.

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The development seems to have come up following the recent directions to the Delhi Police Commissioner by a Delhi court to personally look into the issues pertaining to the investigation of the riots and ensure proper prosecution of the riots cases.

Calling the prosecutor’s approach “lackadaisical”, the court had recently said that the public prosecutor failed to appear before the court despite repeated calls and the investigating officer came to the court late without reading the police file and was unable to answer the court’s queries.

The court had also said that the failure on the part of police officers to take appropriate measures for the prosecution of the riot cases is causing an avoidable delay in the trial.

The new order passed by Asthana directs the SIC to expedite the probe for effective prosecution of riot cases.

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“The committee shall take stock of all pending investigation/pending trial riot cases being investigated in the northeast district and immediately chalk out a time-bound strategy to ensure expeditious investigation and effective prosecution of riot cases,” the order said.

It said that the emphasis should be on scientific and technical evidence to be brought on record.

Signed by Asthana, the order also stresses the filing of all supplementary charge sheets expeditiously and proper briefing of all witnesses and investigating officers to be present before the court.

It further mentions that the police headquarters has attached 14 officers who have worked in the northeast district during riots and had assisted investigation of these cases, to expedite and complete the remaining investigation.

At least 53 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in Delhi riots that broke out in February last year. As many as 755 FIRs were lodged and 1,818 people were initially arrested by the Delhi Police concerning the riot cases.

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