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Delhi violence toll 53, AAP leader is held for IB staffer killing

Hussain has also been named in the FIR registered in connection with IB staffer Ankit Sharma’s killing during the riots, with police sources saying that evidence was still being collected in the case.

Written by Anand Mohan J , Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | March 6, 2020 4:48:53 am
Delhi violence, northeast Delhi violence, Delhi clashes, northeast Delhi clashes, Tahir Hussain, Tahir Hussain arrested, India news, Indian Express Delhi Police Thursday arrested AAP’s suspended municipal councillor Tahir Hussain in connection with the riots. (Express File Photo)

AS THE death toll in the communal violence in northeast Delhi last month climbed to 53, police Thursday arrested AAP’s suspended municipal councillor Tahir Hussain in connection with the riots.

Hussain has also been named in the FIR registered in connection with IB staffer Ankit Sharma’s killing during the riots, with police sources saying that evidence was still being collected in the case. Sharma’s body was found in a drain in northeast Delhi on February 26, a day after he went missing.

The AAP leader has been named in another riot-related FIR, which has been filed on the basis of a complaint by Constable Sangram Singh at Khajuri Khas police station.

On Wednesday, Hussain had filed an anticipatory bail application and it was to be heard Thursday at the Karkardooma court. However, due to a large gathering of lawyers inside the court room, Hussain offered to surrender before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at the Rouse Avenue courts complex.

He showed up with his lawyer Mukesh Kalia and submitted to the ACMM court that there was grave apprehension to his life due to the charged “environment” in the Karkardooma court. He was arrested around 3 pm by the Delhi Police Crime Branch, which is probing the riot-related cases, after his application to surrender was dismissed by the court.

Before his arrest, Hussain told reporters that he had “full faith” in the courts. “I am a victim of the riots. I had to run to save myself and my family. Senior police officers can testify to this. I should not be framed because of a political conspiracy. I request that I am not targetted because I am a Muslim and my name is Tahir Hussain,” he said.

Prior to his arrest, Hussain, in his surrender application, said he “fears for his life in case he goes to the jurisdiction of the courts at Karkardooma”.

“The applicant has a strong apprehension that he may be implicated in false criminal cases. The applicant himself being a victim of the same, yet, the Delhi Police, which is under tremendous pressure, is trying to tarnish his image,” Hussain’s lawyer, Kalia, told the court.

He also said that Hussain was not connected to the murder of the IB staffer, and was ready to join the investigation. Kalia told the court that on February 24, when the area where Tahir was staying was engulfed by riots, he made multiple phone calls to Delhi Police, and late evening the same date, he and his family members, under police protection, left their house fearing for their safety.

“Pertinently, the house of the Applicant was ransacked by the rioters… The Applicant was also not in his constituency on the February 25 but on information regarding the situation in the area, he was calling up the police constantly, requesting them that he was not in the area and that the police should control the situation and protect the residents of the area,” he said.

ACMM Vishal Pahuja, however, said the offence was committed in the jurisdiction of Dayalpur police station, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Karkardooma court. He said Hussain’s reason for filing the surrender application in his court “does not justify the conduct of the applicant to chose this forum for seeking the aforesaid relief… The court is a Special Designated court dealing with matters of MPs/MLAs… The applicant does not fall in the aforesaid category, hence, this application cannot be even entertained by this Court”.

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