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Delhi police chief forms panel to monitor 2020 riots after Court rap

September 23, 2021 21:32 IST

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana has formed a special investigation cell for monitoring the investigation into 2020 Delhi northeast riots.


IMAGE: Security forces patrol a street in a riot-affected area in Delhi, February 26, 2020. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

The development comes after the police force was pulled up by a city court for its handling of the investigation into the riots in which at least 53 people were killed and over 200 were injured.

"K G Tyagi, ACP (retired) has been appointed as a consultant to monitor the riot cases and court matters," an official order issued on Sunday said.

"In order to expedite and streamline the investigation besides ensuring proper scrutiny and 'pairvi' of the northeast riots cases registered and being investigated by northeast district, a special investigation cell (SIC) is constituted under the Chairmanship of Special CP (Central Zone)," it read.

The joint commissioner of police (eastern range), deputy commissioner of police (DCP) and additional DCP of northeast district are the members of the cell.

The SIC shall take stock of all pending investigation and trial, and immediately chalk out a time-bound strategy to ensure expeditious investigation and effective prosecution of the riots cases. The emphasis should be on scientific and technical evidences to be brought on record, it said.

The committee shall ensure filing of all supplementary charge sheets in court expeditiously, it added.

The order further said that in all cases where Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) results are pending, personal follow up will be made with FSL director with the request to expedite the results. The matter shall be pursued with FSL divisions concerned on priority.

"The officers shall personally liaise with the special public prosecutors (SPPs) to ensure their presence in court in all matters, to represent the case of prosecution on each date effectively. They will be thoroughly briefed well in advance, before every date of hearing," it said.

"The team shall also ensure that all witnesses and investigating officers are appearing in court in time, properly briefed and well prepared…," it said.

The police headquarters has attached 14 police officers, who had earlier been serving in northeast district during the riots and had assisted investigation of these cases, to expedite and complete the remaining investigation of pending investigation cases.

The order stated that the monitoring cell shall ensure that all these officers are properly tasked and monitored to achieve the desirable results.

A Delhi court last week came down heavily on the city police for its "lackadaisical approach" and said that no steps for the proper prosecution of the 2020 riots cases had been taken by the police commissioner and other top officials.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg made the remarks after the prosecutor failed to appear before the court despite repeated calls and the investigating officer (IO) came to the court late without reading the police file and was unable to answer the court's queries.

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