In February 2020, the anti-Muslim violence in North East Delhi led to the killing of 53 people, most of them Muslims. Soon after, the Delhi police initiated the investigation and filed a charge sheet describing the riot as a conspiracy of the Muslim activists to disturb law and order and bring down the Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Faisal Farooq was arrested on March 9, 2020. He is a principal of Rajdhani public school located in the Shiv Vihar area in North East Delhi. Farooq and 18 other people were accused of rioting and burning down an adjacent school in area on February 24, 2020.
Farooq’s counsel claims that he has been falsely implicated.
Charges and Allegations
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.
In June 2020, Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav granted bail to Farooq, saying that “though Farooq had been in jail for a considerable period, the police had hardly brought on record any material against him for criminal conspiracy.”
The judge contended that “prima facie, sections 307 (murder attempt), 153A (promoting enmity on the grounds of religion, caste, language, etc.) and 155 (liability of person for whose benefit riot is committed) Indian Penal Code (IPC) are not made out against the accused”.
However, the Delhi High Court, while setting aside the trial court order, said that the entire country is “aggrieved” by the “action of such offenders,” who “tarnish the basic secular fabric of the nation.” “Personal liberty of an individual, though precious, is of little value if the larger interest of the people and nation are at stake.”
When the High Court vacated the stay order on bail on July 2, Farooq’s release was again stayed by the Supreme Court of India.
He has continued to remain in judicial custody since then.