New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI) Members of WhatsApp group created to avenge Muslims allegedly lost their individuality and started working with mob minds, said a Delhi court Friday while taking cognisance of a charge sheet filed against nine persons in a case of alleged murder of a resident during the communal violence in north east Delhi in February.
The court said some youths allegedly failed to perceive the "bottomless stupidity" of the propaganda to take revenge against the Muslims created the WhatsApp group 'Kattar Hindu Ekta'.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam Pathak took cognisance of the offences including rioting, unlawful assembly, murder and criminal conspiracy against nine persons in the alleged murder case of Hashim Ali.
The court directed all the accused -- Lokesh Kumar Solanki, Pankaj Sharma, Sumit Chaudhary, Ankit Chuadhary, Prince, Rishabh Chaudhary, Jatin Sharma, Vivek Panchal and Himanshu Thakur -- to be produced before it through video conferencing on August 28 for further hearing in the case.
"I am of the opinion that there is sufficient material on record to take cognisance of the offences alleged to have been committed by accused persons.
"I hereby take cognisance of the offence punishable under section 302 (murder), 144 (), 147 and 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 201 (destruction of evidence), 427 (mischief), 432 (mischief by causing inundation or obstruction to public drainage), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code alleged to have been committed by accused ," the judge said in his order.
The court said from the statements of the witnesses and the charge sheet, it was prima facie revealed that there was a well hatched conspiracy amongst the accused persons.
"Same is also evident from the fact that in order to take revenge from Muslims some youths of that area who failed to perceive the bottomless stupidity of the propaganda, they as saviours of their community created a WhatsApp group. The groups members as discussed herein above lost their individuality and started working with mob mins.
"'Jai Sri Ram' and 'Har Har Mahadev' which are the sacred slogans and are attached to the victorious yelling, deadened their minds and paralysed their creative nature. They planned the manner of committing offence of rioting, murder and other offences and were instrumental for gathering of the unlawful asembly at Bhagirathi Vihar Nala Pulia on February 26 in conspiracy with each other having common intention and unlawful object," it said.
It added thereupon the mob allegedly turned rioters and in the process of rioting, they caused death of Ali by inflicting multiple injuries in a brutal manner and with a view to conceal the evidence all of them in furtherance of their common intention threw his dead body in the drain.
It said that it has been found that the common object of the unlawful assembly was not only to kill but also to destroy all evidence of that crime.
"Thus, all of those involved in the present case actively participated in connection with the carrying of the dead body or disposal of it by throwing it in the drain must have been actuated by the common object. There cannot be any doubt that the accused who killed Hashim Ali were certainly up to their neck in the conspiracy and were thus very active members of the unlawful assembly," the court said.
It, however, said in a case where a group of people conspired, thereafter assembled to take revenge and where the victims have been targeted on the basis of their religious identity, the relevant provisions of law attracting relevant offences should have been mentioned in the charge sheet.
"It is also clear that there were averments in respect of promoting enmity between different groups on the ground of religion and acting in a way that are prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony," it said in the order.
According to the charge sheet, the body of Ali was found on February 27 in a drain in the Gokulpuri area and injury marks were found on his face.
The charge sheet said all the accused persons were allegedly present at the spot on February 26 carrying stones, cudgel, sticks, swords and rion rods etc and were shouting slogans like 'Jai Sri Ram' and 'Har Har Mahadev'.
They were allegedly leading the mob and giving directions to their associates by calling each other by their names and were alleged to have been involved in killing of nine Muslims after checking their identity, police had said.
Public witnesses stated that a mob allegedly stopped two persons riding on the Apache Bike and after establising their Muslim identity, they killed both the persons with stones, cudgel, sticks, swords and iron rods and thrown their bodies in the Nala (drain) along with the bike, the charge sheet said.
It said during the course of investigation, data of mobile phones of Sharma and Bhardwaj revealed that they were members of WhatsApp group namely "Kattar Hindu Ekta".
Further investigation of this group was carried out which revelaed that it was created on February 25 for allegedly taking revenge from Muslim community, the charge sheet said.
It further said they allegedly conspired to teach Muslims a lesson for attacking the Hindu's and equipped themselves with lathis, danda, sticks, swords and firearms and killed many innocent persons including Hashim Ali and his brother Aamir Khan.