India jails man for five years in first conviction over deadly Delhi riots

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File photo: A court in Delhi has jailed a man for five years in connection with the religious riots in February 2020  (AP)
File photo: A court in Delhi has jailed a man for five years in connection with the religious riots in February 2020 (AP)

An Indian court has sentenced the first person to be convicted in connection with the February 2020 riots in Delhi that left 53 people dead.

Dinesh Yadav, 25, was jailed for five years by Delhi’s Karkardooma court.

He has also been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 12,000 (£118), his lawyer Shikha Garg was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).

While the full order in the case is being awaited, Ms Garg told Reuters: “We will file an appeal before a higher court.”

Last month, the court had convicted Yadav for being part of a mob that looted and burned down a 73-year-old woman’s house in northeast Delhi’s Gokulpuri area.

The woman identified as Manori had told the court that a mob of more than 100 people had set her house ablaze when she was home alone on 25 February.

She said she was forced to jump from the roof of her house to save herself and hide at a neighbour’s home until the police were called.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Mr Yadav was an “active member of the riotous mob“ and played a role in attacking the woman’s home, reported news channel NDTV.

Police said that while Mr Yadav was part of the mob, he had not been seen burning down the house.

The court, however, held that being part of the mob meant he was ultimately responsible for the arson.

Mr Yadav, who was arrested in June 2020, had been convicted for unlawful assembly and rioting.

On 23 February 2020, religious violence rocked northeast Delhi during a visit to the city by former US president Donald Trump.

In the two-day long unrest, 53 people were killed and more than 200 injured as shops and homes were burnt and vandalised after tension simmered in the aftermath of protests against India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Last week, the Delhi High Court granted bail to six people accused of the murder of a man named Dilbar Negi in Brijpuri during the riots.

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