‘A bald allegation,’ Court slams police, grants bail to Rajdhani School principal in Delhi violence case

In Shiv Vihar in northeast Delhi, the Hindu mob used the Rajdhani Public Senior Secondary School as a base to launch attacks against peaceful anti-CAA protesters, the local residents told Maktoob on 28 February. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to Faisal Farooq, principal of Rajdhani Public School, who was earlier charged with northeast Delhi violence case and observed that the CCTV footage did not show Farooq’s presence at the place where the riots had broken out.

Duty Judge Vinod Yadav said that it is clearly apparent that there are contradictions in the various statements of three witnesses about Faisal, Hindustan Times reported.

The three witnesses include the local residents, Roop Singh, his wife Geeta, and school guard Manoj.

Witness 1: Roop Singh

The statement of Roop Singh, on March 8 had claimed that he had seen Faisal on the spot. Roop Singh had also claimed to have heard the school principal asking the school guard to permit some people inside the school.

Later in his statement recorded before the magistrate on March 11, Roop did not say a word about having seen Faisal at the scene or having heard him saying anything to the school guard.

“It is clearly apparent that there are contradictions in the various statements of this witness about the applicant,” the court observed.

According to Hindustan Times, police recorded a supplementary statement of Roop Singh claiming that he had got scared before judge which is why he could not state the correct facts. Police had moved an application before the court for getting this new fact added to his statement.

However, it was dismissed by the judge.

Witness 2: Geeta

The judge said that another witness, Geeta, who was Roop Singh’s wife, also did not say a word about having seen Faisal on the spot.

Witness 3: School Guard Manoj

Rajdhani School guard Manoj has merely stated that school principal Faisal had come to the main gate and had spoken to some people outside, the court observed.

Earlier on 28 February, Manoj had recalled the horrifying 60 hours he spent trapped in the schoolroom in the violence-hit region without food.

“They hijacked the whole school and we were locked in a room in the other school. Our wives and children were with us. We were trapped for more than two days with nothing to eat,” he told Maktoob.

Court criticizes police

The judge said that “except bald allegation,” there is no material to substantiate that the school principal had spoken to several people related to riots.

“From the aforesaid statements, it is prima-facie not established that the applicant was present at the spot at the time of the incident. It is an admitted position that several CCTV cameras were lying installed at Rajdhani Public School at various places, the footages whereof have been thoroughly scrutinized by the Investigating Agency but the presence of the applicant therein is not there. If the applicant (Faisal Farooq) was not present at the scene of occurrence then his involvement in the offenses cannot be made out,” the judge in his bail order.

Court also noted that Faisal kept calling the police to report the damage to his school from February 24, but FIR in his case was not recorded and it was ultimately recorded after 10 days.

Faisal’s lawyer Gaurav Kochar told the court that there was a delay of 11 days in the registration of FIR in the matter which was unexplained and pointed towards concoction of the false implication in the matter.

Hindu mob hijacked Rajdhani School: local residents

In Shiv Vihar in northeast Delhi, the Hindu mob used the Rajdhani Public Senior Secondary School as a base to launch attacks against peaceful anti-CAA protesters, the local residents told Maktoob on 28 February.

Terrace of Rajdhani public school, a three-story building became a convenient and strategic location to unleash violence by dropping petrol bombs, firing guns, and pelting bricks. Containers of bricks and unused petrol bombs and gun cartridges are seen on the terrace.

“They hijacked the whole school. Me, my wife and my children were trapped for more than 45 hours in a room in the other school,” Manoj, the guard at School told Maktoob on 28 February.

“An armed mob with sticks, stones, and guns camped in the school. There were more than 500 people. The police came to the site only after 48 hours ” Manoj added.

The owner and principal of the Rajdhani school, Faisal Farooq also told reporters that even after repeated calls to the police they did not turn up for help while a case has been registered immediately on the complaint of the owner of DRP Convent Public School, located adjacent to Rajdhani School.

However, according to the Delhi police the Muslim mob had camped inside and fired bullets from the terrace of Rajdhani School.

“They also threw petrol bombs, acid, bricks, stones, and other missiles using an improvised large iron catapult, specially installed for the purpose, from the terrace of Rajdhani School. The rioters had used ropes to climb down from the terrace of Rajdhani School into the compound of DRP Convent School and then the mob had set the school on fire,” police said.

Eighteen persons, including Faisal Farooq have been arrested in this case and charges under Sections 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 307, 395, 436, 455, 120B, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act have been invoked.

According to the police theory, it was on Farooq’s directions that the DRP convent school, two parking lots run by the other party, and the building of one Anil Sweets were systematically destroyed by the mob.