A view of a riot-hit area in Delhi
NEW DELHI: The special investigation unit (SIU) of the Delhi Police has charge-sheeted six people in connection with the murder of an octogenarian during the February riots in the national capital.
The charge-sheet was filed before a Metropolitan Magistrate of the Karkardooma court, the police said here on Sunday.
Akbari Begum, 85, who lived with her family on Gamri Road in the Bhajanpura area of northeast Delhi, died due to suffocation and asphyxiation.
“On Febrary 25, a mob attacked and set on fire the deceased’s house. While other family members climbed to the rooftop, the deceased due to her old age could not do so and died due to suffocation,” the police said.
Her body was recovered from the second floor of the house after the fire was extinguished by the fire department personnel. “The body was found lying on a folding bed,” the police said.
An FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Saeed Salmani, her son.
“On the ground and first floors was a garment workshop. The family of the complainant was living on the second and third floors of the four-story house. The police rescued the family members from the rooftop. But the deceased couldn’t be rescued,” the Crime Branch said in a statement.
Upon evaluating the gravity of the offence, the investigation was transferred to the SIU of the Crime Branch. Videos of the incident that had gone viral on social media were procured and taken on record. Several mobile phones by which the videos were recorded were traced and seized.
Statements of the police officials who rescued the complainant’s other family members were also recorded.
Based on the statements, video and other technical evidences, including call detail records (CDRs), six people were identified and arrested. Efforts are on to identify more accused.
They have been charged under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 396 (dacoity with intention of murder), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), etc, of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Earlier on Saturday, the SIU had filed another charge-sheet against seven people in connection with the murder of Rahul Solanki, 27-year-old law student, during the same riots. Solanki was shot dead near Shiv Vihar on February 24.
In the charge-sheet, the police said, “During investigation, it was established that the deceased had gone to a shop in the locality when he was shot dead.” With the help of CCTV footage, eyewitness accounts and analysis of CDRs, seven people were arrested in connection with the case.
Large-scale arson of houses and shops of Hindus was done during the riots, the police said.