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755 FIRs and 342 chargesheets against 1,553 people later – not a single case has gone to trial yet

755 FIRs and 342 chargesheets against 1,553 people later – not a single case has gone to trial yet

New Delhi: A year after the deadly north-east Delhi riots that killed at least 53 people and injured nearly 600 others, the Delhi Police have closed their probes in 400 of the 755 FIRs, arrested over 1,753 people, 1,204 of whom are still in jail and filed at least 342 chargesheet in these cases against 1,553 people. But not one case has gone to trial yet - each entangled in its own set of problems.

And while the information available with the Delhi Police attempts to show that they have left no stone unturned in pursuing all complaints regarding the north-east Delhi riots and their aftermath, a three-month-long investigation by Millennium Post has found many gaps in their probe theories, looked at how the police started making arrests in these cases, what direction their probe theories veered-off into and how despite repeated rebukes from multiple courts regarding its reliability, credibility and in some cases nonsensical conjectures, the police have pressed on with their working theory on how the riots began and who allegedly started them.

In the first part of this investigation, data from the district courthouse here reveals that a total of over 4,300 riots-related bail applications have been processed in the last year, even as the Delhi Police maintains that they had arrested only about 1,700 people in these cases, of which only 544 have been granted bail.

Till the end of 2020, police said they had arrested 820 Hindus and 933 Muslims, including five juveniles.

In the following parts, this series will reveal nuances of how the north-east district has changed, what level of distrust has been sown into the community, how policing has changed in the area, how or whether the victims are coping, the problems they are facing with the criminal justice system and the problems police, prosecutors and defence lawyers are having to deal with in courts.

There remains tension in the area with people jumpier than they have ever been before - some trying to move on with their lives, others failing to do so.

Part 1 of the series: Delhi Police say 1,753 held but courts heard over 4,347 bail pleas

Part 2: In 100 bail orders: 'Videos' used for arrest in 44; 32 of these failed court scrutiny

Part 3: Of courts' bugbears, most common 'doubtful' police, public witness statements

Part 4: A Delhi Police-sized roadblock in victims' path to justice — clubbing of irrelevant, unrelated FIRs

Part 5: Defence lawyers face an opaque prosecution and an uncooperative probe authority

Part 6: Interactions with police have led to a complete breakdown of trust for many

Part 7: Pandemic response helped us repair relations with the community, say Delhi Police

Part 8: Over 2.7K compensation pleas pending re-assessment — all scattered & none to blame yet

Part 9: Justice an afterthought for families of most victims still struggling to move on

Part 10: Collateral damage: Tales from jail, of abuse & trauma

Part 11: How, when and where it began & why it is missing from cops' theory

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