Delhi Police Crime Branch on Tuesday filed its charge-sheet in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots which took place in February 2020. Since then, shocking details have emerged regarding the deep conspiracy involved. The role of former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain in the entire series of events has become increasingly clear. Ex-JNU student Umar Khalid has also featured prominently in the charge-sheet. Simultaneously, a charge-sheet has also been filed against far-left organisation Pinjra Tod for their role in the Jafrabad riots.
In this report, we shall summarise the recent developments in each case.
Tahir Hussain planned IB officer Ankit Sharma’s murder
The charge-sheet says that there was a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the murder of Intelligence Bureau Constable Ankit Sharma. It says that he was specifically targeted by a mob led by Tahir Hussain. According to the charge-sheet, Ankit Sharma was murdered on the 25th of February at Khajuri Khas outside the home of the former AAP Councillor.
The doctors found 51 sharp and blunt injuries on the deceased Sharma’s body. A witness recorded the entire series of events on his phone in which a mob could be seen dumping his corpse in a drain. His body was recovered from it the next morning. The knife that was used to murder him has been recovered and so have been the blood-stained clothes of the murderer.
The charge-sheet also says that Tahir Hussain transferred Rs. 1.1 crore to shell companies in the second week of January which was later withdrawn in cash and used to prepare for the riots. The investigation says that Tahir Hussain transferred Rs. 92 lakh to the accounts of Meenu Fabrication and SP Financial Services, Rs 20 lakh to Show Effect Pvt Ltd and another Rs 20 lakh to Yudhvee Impex.
As for the role of son of former SIMI leader Umar Khalid, the charge-sheet says that he told the former AAP leader “to be prepared for something big/riots at the time of Trump’s visit”, and “he and other PFI members will help him (Hussain) financially”.
The charge-sheet states, “Hussain claimed Saifi gave him money for preparations and he, from the account of companies owned by him, transferred Rs 1.10 crore to fake companies in the second week of January. He later got that amount in cash through a chain of transactions and started his preparations. He also distributed cash to anti-CAA protesters.”
“His co-accused and several other persons in his locality also told his other supporters to get ready for big action. He also got his licensed pistol released from Khajuri Khas police station when he learnt that some persons were organising pro-CAA demonstrations nearby, to teach them a lesson,” the charge-sheet adds.
The charge-sheet says that as many as fifteen people, including Tahir Hussain, played a pivotal role in the riots that took place outside Hussain’s house in Khajuri Khas, Delhi. His younger brother, Shah Alam was arrested earlier as well. Hussain’s licensed pistol, which he used during the riots, was impounded by the police during the investigation.
Hussain, along with others, has been booked under sections 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 395, 427, 435, 436, 452, 454, 153A, 505, 120B, of the Indian Penal Code and 3/4 PDPP Act and Arms Act. The charge-sheet notes that the AAP councillor had released his pistol from PS Khajuri Khas on the 22nd of February 2020, one day prior to the riots in Delhi. Hussain was in contact with Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi, who were a part of a larger group of persons involved in inciting riots in Delhi.
Tablighi Jamaat connection in Delhi riots
Another charge-sheet was filed on Wednesday in connection with the Rajdhani school case. The FIR was lodged on March 5 in the riots that took place on February 24 outside the premises of Rajdhani school at Shiv Vihar, New Mustafabad, Delhi. The FIR was registered on the complaint filed by the owner and manager of DRP Convent school which is adjacent to the Rajdhani school building.
The charge sheet says that on 24 February, many children from Muslim families had left the school early, along with their parents, which indicate that the riot was pre-planned. Presence of Glass bottles for Molotov cocktails, rope and iron catapult on the terrace of Rajdhani school point towards the execution of a well-planned strategy and assault on the other party, the charge sheet states.
It is also alleged that the rioters looted computers from the DRP Convent school and other expensive assets. The Mob also burned down the building of Anil sweets which was exactly opposite to the school in question. An employee of Anil Sweets, Dilbar Negi, was trapped and killed inside the building. His charred body was found by the police later.
The owner of the Rajdhani school Faisal Farooque, along with eighteen persons, was arrested in the matter. Investigations revealed that Faisal Farooque planned to orchestrate riots in and around the Rajdhani school area. On his instruction, both the buildings of DRP Convent school and Anil sweets were set on fire, the statement of the witnesses revealed. His call details revealed his links with prominent members of Popular Front of India, Pinjra tod group, Jamia Coordination Committee, Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz, and some other Muslim clerics.
The Jafrabad riots and far-left groups
On May 23, the Special cell of Delhi police had arrested two women named Natasha Narwal and Devangna Kalita in the North-east Delhi riots case. Both the women are founding members of Pinjra Tod, which was established in 2015.
The Delhi Police had alleged that both the women-Natasha and Devangana were involved in hatching a conspiracy to incite riots in Jafrabad. Natasha was booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her role in inciting the anti-Hindu communal riots in Northeast Delhi in February.
The FIR against them mentions that they are charged under sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 332, 333, 323, 283, 188, 427, 307, 302, 120B, 34 of the Indian Penal Code and under the Arms Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. The two arrested women were also a part of a larger conspiracy and were found to be associated with “India Against Hate” group and Umar Khalid.
The damning WhatsApp messages retrieved from the phone of one of the accused, mentioned in the charge-sheet, demonstrates their incendiary designs. “Ghar me garam khaulta hua pani or tel ka intezam kare (Keep boiling water and oil handy in your house)”, “Tezab ki bottle ghar me rakhe (Keep bottles of acid in your houses)”, Cars/bikes se petrol nikalkar rakhe (extract petrol from your car/bike and keep with you)”, Balcony/terrace par eit or patthar rakhe (store bricks or stones on your balcony or terrace)”, “Lohe ke darwazo me switch se current ka istemal kare (metal doors should be electrified using switches)” are some of the instructive messages that were propagated in Whatsapp groups as preparation for the violence in Delhi.