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Delhi Police forms special teams to supervise 2020 riots cases after repeated court strictures

A Delhi court, at different hearings, has pulled up the force for its 'lackadaisical attitude’ in investigating the 2020 riots cases, failure in ‘supervisory duties’, and evading responsibility.

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New Delhi: The Delhi Police has created special teams to supervise the investigations into the February 2020 Northeast Delhi riots, and assist in filing the pending supplementary charge sheets, ThePrint has learnt.

The move comes after a Delhi court expressed displeasure earlier this month over the delay in trial, and pulled up the national capital’s police for its “lackadaisical attitude” in investigating the cases, failure in “supervisory duties” and evading responsibility. 

Earlier, the city police was pulled up twice in a week, with additional sessions Judge Vinod Yadav remarking that the “sort of investigation conducted” and the “lack of supervision” by the superior officers shows that the capital’s police “have merely tried to pull the wool over the court’s eyes and nothing else”.

According to an internal order dated 20 September, the Delhi Police has formed six teams comprising assistant police commissioners (ACPs) and concerned station house officers (SHOs) of the northeast district police stations — Khajuri Khas, Gokulpuri, Karawal Nagar, and Bhajanpura among others — to review the case files of the pending riot cases, and to ensure due examination of the documents.

The order was issued by the office of the northeast district commissioner of police, undersigned by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sanjeev Kumar Sain. ThePrint has seen the order.

The Seelampur ACP has been tasked as the supervisory officer.

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

Other details about teams

A dedicated technical team has been formed to provide assistance to the investigating officers and the SHOs to access and evaluate call detail records, and recognition of accused through the facial recognition system. 

Three other teams have been formed under SHOs of Seelampur and Harsh Vihar to ensure that all reports available with the forensic and crime teams are sent to the respective police stations, to work closely with authorities for forensics on priority basis, and to ensure that no medico-legal case (MLC) is pending in hospitals.

“These teams will be responsible to review the pending investigation riot cases thoroughly and will prepare detailed information on the prescribed format/proforma. Special emphasis will be laid to analysis of scientific & technical evidence on record and to guide IOs to bring more scientific & technical evidence on record with the help & support of technical teams,” the order said. 

It added that at the end of each day, “each team will submit daily work reports/formats regarding cases” reviewed by them with comments from the SHOs and ACPs and the information will be sent to the riot cell.

“The exercise is required to be completed preferably by 24.09.2021,” the order said. 

Speaking to ThePrint on condition of anonymity, a senior Delhi Police officer said, “This order has been issued to expedite and streamline the work in the riot cases. All those officers who were transferred, but were part of the investigating team for the riot cases have been roped in.”

Also read: Both Hindus & Muslims accused in Delhi riots case, court orders two separate trials


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