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Delhi Police probe links Northeast riot accused to Nizamuddin Markaz

Police allege conspiracy: ‘Many children from Muslim families left the school early, along with their parents, during the half-time recess’.

Written by Somya Lakhani | New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2020 7:47:59 am
Rajdhani Public School, Shiv Vihar. The police statement said ‘rioters camped inside and fired bullets from the terrace’.

The Delhi Police claims to have found links between an accused in the Northeast Delhi riots and the Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz.

According to police, investigation into rioting that took place outside a school in Shiv Vihar on February 24 has revealed that the school’s owner, Faisal Farooque, had “links with prominent members of Popular Front of India, Pinjra Tod, Jamia Coordination Committee, Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz and some other fundamental Muslim clerics, including Deoband” which, along with his “call detail analysis”, shows “the depth of the conspiracy”.

This is the first time the Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz, which has so far been in news after it emerged as a coronavirus hotspot towards March-end, has found a mention in the Northeast Delhi riots probe.

More than 2,300 people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat had been removed from the Markaz in March, and sent to hospitals and quarantine centres.

Police claim the probe into violence outside Rajdhani Public School has revealed that Farooque “had hatched a conspiracy to precipitate and aggravate riots in and around the school”.

This was mentioned in a “brief note” shared Wednesday by the Delhi Police spokesperson, “on chargesheets being filed today (June 3) by the Crime Branch in connection with riots in Northeast district”.

According to the police note, “Farooque had visited Deoband just one day before the riots started, that is, on February 23”.

The note further mentions: “Evidence of conspiracy is further brought out by the fact that on the day of the riots, that is on February 24, many children from Muslim families left the school early, along with their parents, during the half-time recess itself.”

Also read | Tahir Hussain chargesheet claims Delhi riots planning began in January

A case was registered on the basis of a complaint received from the owner and manager of DRP Convent Public School, which is adjacent to Rajdhani School. As per the police statement, “The rioters 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.”

It further says: “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. The mob had looted the computers and other expensive items from DRP Convent School.”

Police said the rioters also set another building on fire that housed Anil Sweets, which is right in front of Rajdhani School, on the other side of the road. Police said that Dilbar Negi, an employee with Anil Sweets, was trapped inside and his charred dead body was found later by police.

Farooque is among eight people arrested in the case.

Police have claimed that it was on Farooque’s instructions that the “adjacent and rival” DRP Convent School, two parking lots and the Anil Sweets building were “systematically destroyed” by the mob. Police said, “This is evident from the statement of witnesses, which include the guard at DRP School and his own guard at Rajdhani School.”

Police claimed that “six empty cartridge shells, glass bottles that were used for making molotov cocktails, rope and iron catapult recovered from the terrace of Rajdhani School”, which “all point towards the execution of a well-planned strategy and assault on the other party”.

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