INTELLIGENCE Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma was trying to pacify “people from both sides” when armed rioters caught and dragged him on the “instigation” of suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, before killing and dumping his body in a drain, Delhi Police said in a chargesheet filed in a Delhi court on Wednesday.
Sharma, a resident of Northeast Delhi’s Khajuri Khas, went missing on February 25, and his body was recovered from a drain in Chand Bagh a day later. The police registered an FIR based on his father’s complaint on February 26.
“The 51 sharp injuries on the body of Sharma caused by sharp edged weapon as well as blunt object clearly indicate how cold-blooded rioters brutally killed him in furtherance of a well hatched conspiracy,” the chargesheet stated.
Naming Hussain and nine other persons, the chargesheet said he “gathered a mob on the basis of religious sentiments”, knew several accused persons beforehand, provided them logistical support, and “involved” them to commit the murder. The 10 have been accused under sections of murder, criminal conspiracy and other sections of the IPC.
Metropolitan Magistrate Richa Parihar has fixed the matter for consideration on June 16.
Police said they relied on statements of public witnesses who told them Hussain was present at the spot on February 25 and led a mob at Chand Bagh Pulia to his house. “Witnesses have also stated that Hussain was also present at his house from where the mob was pelting stones, bricks and petrol bombs on the Hindus preventing them to move forward. The witnesses have stated that Hussain was provoking and instigating the mob against the Hindus/ kafirs to kill them,” the chargesheet read.
The police have listed 81 persons as witnesses in the case.
Based on witness statements, police claimed that at about 5 pm, Sharma had moved ahead from the crowd of Hindu people standing some distance away from Hussain’s house to pacify the people of both sides. That’s when “rioters numbered in 20-25, equipped with stones, rod, lathi, danda, knife, etc came from the side of Chand Bagh Pulia, caught hold of Ankit on the instigation of Tahir Hussain from the front of Hussain’s house and dragged him to Chand Bagh Pulia and beat him to death by inflicting sharp and blunt injuries and after killing him, threw his dead body in the drain”, the chargesheet said.
Police told the court they have not found any CCTV footage capturing this incident, and that CCTVs were damaged or turned around by rioters. Police said they have a video of three persons throwing a body in the drain, however their faces are not clear from the video.
Hussain’s lawyer, Javed Ali, told The Indian Express, “There is no connection between Hussain and the rioters which has been established by police. There are no call records to connect him with the rioters. Also, when the incident took place, he was not at the spot and was in fact rescued by the Delhi Police.”
Police claimed in the chargesheet that 12 PCR calls were made by Hussain on February 24-25. The emergency officer who attended the PCR calls was examined. It was found that police could not reach on time due to a large gathering of rioters. They reached only late at night and found Hussain present in front of his house, some adjoining houses — but not his building — damaged, and his family members without any injuries. “From the circumstances, it seemed that the accused persons/rioters were known to Hussain and he was present with the rioters at his house and had deliberately made PCR calls to save his skin from legal complications in future,” the chargesheet read.
Police also claimed that an accused, Haseen, who was arrested by the Special Cell after intercepting his mobile phone, spoke to a friend and his sister-in-law about the murder of a person and dumping his body in a drain. Police claimed they found a blood-stained knife and clothes in his house.
Haseen’s lawyer, Afsha Pracha, said, “Haseen was illegally picked up by police and produced in court four days later. CrPC guidelines on making arrests were not followed in this case.”
Police also claimed Tahir had a licensed pistol which he had deposited at Khajuri Khas police station on January 7. But on February 22, he got his pistol released from the police station before the riots, “for the purpose of using the same in the riots”, the chargesheet said. Police claimed Tahir had got 100 cartridges issued, but only 64 live and 22 empty cartridges were recovered and Tahir could not give a satisfactory reply on the remaining cartridges.
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