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Attack on temple: HC refuses to entertain plea seeking SIT probe

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, July 06: The Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL seeking SIT probe into the attack on a temple in the walled city here, saying that the police was already taking action and nothing can be done overnight.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said the petitioner in the instant matter expected the culprits behind the June 30 incident to be arrested overnight and observed that the expectation was "too high".

Attack on temple: HC refuses to entertain plea seeking SIT probe

The court said that three FIRs were already registered in connection with the incident and investigation was already going on.

It also noted the submissions of the central government's standing counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the Ministry of Home Affairs, and advocate Anupam Srivastava, appearing for the police, that action has been taken against those identified as having taken part in the incident.

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Srivastava also told the court that after examining CCTV footage of the incident, seven persons have been arrested and six minors were put in observation homes.

He said more arrests may be made during the course of the investigation as the CCTV footage was still being examined.

The bench said: "It appears that the respondents (Centre, Delhi government and police) are serious about the incident. The criminal law has been put into motion and therefore, we see no reason for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT)."

The court also said that the petition was "premature" as "nothing can be done overnight even by an efficient person(s) or institution and some breathing time ought to be given".

It also said that there was no need to monitor the investigation being carried out by the police and dismissed the petition of advocate Alakh Alok Shrivastava.

Shrivastava, in his plea, had sought that a court-monitored SIT must investigate the attack on the Durga Temple in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi on June 30 and identify the real perpetrators of the crime.

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During the brief hearing on Friday, he told the court that just like Christian places of worship were protected in the past by the police after a spate of attacks on them, similar protection be provided to all places of worship of all religions.

In his petition, the lawyer had also prayed for initiation of stringent action and formulation of suitable guidelines to avoid such attacks on other religious places of worships in future, considering the wider ramifications of such acts in disrupting communal harmony and peace in the society.

A fight over parking a scooter in old Delhi's Chawri Bazaar area took a communal turn as the temple was vandalised leading to tension in the area on July 1.

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