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Delhi Police forms Special Investigating Cell to monitor probe into Northeast Delhi riots

Headed by Special Commissioner of Police, Central Zone, Rajesh Khurana, the SIC is expected to expedite and streamline investigation into cases related to Delhi riots.

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New Delhi: The Delhi Police has constituted a Special Investigating Cell (SIC) to monitor the investigation into the Northeast Delhi riots, which led to the deaths of 53 people in February 2020, ThePrint has learnt.

The move comes after the Delhi Police has been repeatedly pulled up by various courts for failing to conduct a proper probe into the riots. A Delhi court, on 2 September, had called out the police’s “callous investigation” into a riots case.

The SIC has been constituted to “expedite and streamline the investigation” into the various Delhi riots cases that are being investigated by Northeast Delhi police, noted an internal order by Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana, dated 19 September. The order has been accessed by ThePrint.

Special Commissioner of Police, Central Zone, Rajesh Khurana, will head the cell that will also comprise Sagar Preet Hooda, Joint Commissioner of Eastern range, DCP Northeast Sanjay Kumar Sain and Additional DCP Northeast Devesh Kumar Mahla.

K.G. Tyagi, retired assistant commissioner of police, has also been appointed as a consultant to monitor court matters related to riots cases.

Also read: Weak evidence, witnesses fail to identify accused in 6 out of 7 Delhi riots cases on trial

SIC to ensure ‘expeditious investigation’

The Special Investigating Cell has been tasked with taking stock of all pending investigations and trials in the riots cases and chalking out a time-bound strategy to ensure “expeditious investigation and effective prosecution of cases”, according to the internal order.

The SIC will also guide the investigating officers (IOs) in the probes and ensure the filing of all supplementary charge sheets. It will follow up on pending forensic results and also personally liaise with the Special Public Prosecutors to ensure their presence in court.

The order further states that the SIC will ensure that witnesses and IOs appear before the court in time and in case the IO isn’t available, the Station House Officer (SHO) attends the hearing.

“In no case, the matter shall be allowed to be left unattended,” it notes.

The cell will also ensure that the 14 police officers appointed to supervise various riots cases and file pending supplementary charge sheets in an earlier order, are properly tasked and bring desirable results.

(Edited by Rachel John)

Also read: In riots case, trial court says Delhi Police probe not good enough, slams ‘half-baked’ efforts


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