Delhi Police has registered an FIR under IPC Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) against AAP councillor Tahir Hussain in connection with the killing of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma, whose body was pulled out of a drain in northeast Delhi Wednesday.
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The FIR, which was registered Thursday at Dayalpur police station, was based on allegations by 25-year-old Sharma’s family that Hussain was linked to the incident.
In the complaint, Ankit ‘s father Ravinder Sharma said that Hussain had assembled goons at his residence, who were firing guns and throwing petrol bombs from the rooftop.
He said, “On Tuesday, Ankit came back home but left around 5 pm to buy groceries. When he did not return, we started looking for him at different police stations and hospitals. We couldn’t find him and filed a missing report. Later, a neighbour told me that he saw Ankit with a friend. We went to his place and asked about Ankit. He told us that there were rumours that a man was beaten to death near Chand Bagh bridge and his body was dumped in a drain.”
The family informed police after which local divers were deployed to find the body. The divers pulled out a body that was identified by Ankit’s family. His father said that there were multiple stab wounds on his son’s face, head, back and chest. The family has mentioned in the FIR that it was Tahir and his goons, who Killed Ankit near the Chand Bagh bridge.
FIR has levelled charges of murder, destruction of evidence and abduction against Tahir Hussain.
While police said that a probe is underway, Hussain denied the allegations and demanded a “thorough investigation”. AAP, meanwhile, announced that Hussain has been suspended from the party.
Sharma had ventured out of his home Tuesday night and headed towards the Chand Bagh locality, but never made it back. Doctors at GTB Hospital said Sharma had been stabbed several times.
Asked about the allegations against Hussain, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Take strict action against him (Hussain). Police is not under me or I would have. Be it people from AAP, BJP or Congress, those who fanned the communal fire, those who orchestrated riots, should all be punished even if it is someone from my Cabinet. If he is from AAP, give him double the punishment.”
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Hussain said: “I am very sad to hear about the death of IB officer Ankit Sharma. He should get justice. I am not involved in this incident. There should be a thorough investigation of this matter.”
Police also claimed to have found a cache of petrol bombs and cement packets filled with bricks from the office of Hussain in Mustafabad Thursday morning. But AAP’s Okhla MLA, Amanatullah Khan, tweeted that Hussain “is innocent”. “BJP is trying to save its own leaders by framing him in a false case,” Khan claimed.
Speaking to The Indian Express Tuesday, when the allegations had first surfaced, Hussain had said: “They (rioters) pelted stones from the road and other tall buildings too. This was around 2-2.30 pm on Monday, and when people saw this, they forcefully entered our house and went to the terrace.”
He had claimed that he went inside his house on the ground floor, behind his office, and hid there with his wife and three children.
“A group of people tried breaking the gate of the house and we tried physically blocking it but they succeeded. I called the police several times and they helped us get out… We walked till we reached the house of a person we knew a few lanes away in Chand Bagh… We are staying there,” he had claimed.
Hussain had also claimed that he sought police security since his house is on the main road and “an easy target” as he is an AAP member. “Police personnel stood guard outside our house till Tuesday 4 pm but left again… I don’t know why they did that because the riot started again,” he said.
Senior officers visited the building Thursday morning for a “crime scene investigation”. At the site, police sources claimed the team found a liquid substance wrapped in several polyethene packets on the second floor, crates filled with petrol bombs on the second floor, cement packets filled with bricks and a lone slingshot on the terrace.
Two eyewitnesses told The Indian Express that they saw Ankit being caught by a mob Tuesday. Pradeep Verma, the parking manager of a building adjacent to Hussain’s office, claimed: “When the mob attacked we ran. I saw Ankit, he was waving his hands in the air. Then they beat him.”
Another eyewitness, Rahul, a neighbour, claimed: “I was going to get milk when the mob started pelting stones. I saw Ankit getting dragged. We could not do anything to save him.”
Police said they are also looking into purported videos showing Hussain atop a building with smoke and fire in the background. In the video, he is heard saying that the main gate of his house has been broken and people have forcefully entered.
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