The Delhi Anti-Hindu Riots on the 24th and 25th February have been etched in the memory of the nation with over 53 dead and hundreds injured as Islamist mobs ran amuck. During the Delhi riots, the main Wazirabad road that separates Hindu dominated Yamuna Vihar and Muslim dominated Chand Bagh became of the hotspots for the riots. It is here that policeman Ratan Lal was brutally murdered by the Islamist mob and it is here that another curious incident took place – the retaliation from Mohan Nursing Home, which was in the Hindu dominated Yamuna Vihar and the violence from Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy Pvt Ltd building. This altercation between Hindus and Muslims left one Muslim man called Shahid dead, with a gunshot wound to his stomach.
The media, at the time, had capitalised on this one case, because to them, it was an opportunity to demonstrate how innocent Muslims were being slaughtered by Hindus during the riots that the media was terming as a pogrom against Muslims by Hindus. Shahid’s body, that was being descended from the Saptarishi building in a bid to get medical attention was flashed on television. While those images were being flashed, the anchors were slyly talking about how the Hindu chants of “Goli maaaro saalo ko” were finally being realised with Hindus shooting Shahid from the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home.
However, with the chargesheets in the cases related to the riots now out and accessed exclusively by OpIndia, it is evident that the truth is far from what the media wished to project. To understand what really happened from the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home and the Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy building, one must understand how the main Wazirabad road was turned into a war zone by Muslim mobs. One must also read, in-depth, what the chargesheet says about the fatal gunshot wound sustained by Shahid, that ultimately claimed his life.
How the riots at Main Wazirabad road proceeded: A Chronology
While anti-CAA protests and riots by Islamist mobs started way back in December, the main Wazirabad road became one of the starting points of the riots on the 24th of February. It was here that the mob became violent and attacked the police party that was patrolling the area, and the attack resulted in the death of policeman Ratan Lal.
On the 23rd of February, Bhim Army had called to march from Chand Bagh to Rajghat. That was an illegal march which was then stopped by the police. The statement by a Muslim witness (name withheld) says that several Muslims, Dalits and students had congregated for the march by Bhim Army which was stopped by the police. Thereafter, the police had sealed the Wazirabad road after stopping the march. A rumour was then spread that violence had erupted on another protest site in Jaffrabad.
This was the place where Muslim women along with JCC members and others, especially Pinjra Tod members had blocked the metro road and violence had erupted on the 23rd. It is pertinent to note that in the chargesheet, it categorically mentioned that it was the anti-CAA Muslims who had started pelting stones and indulging in violence at those who were demanding re-opening of the roads blocked by the anti-CAA protestors. This was reported extensively by OpIndia.
Post that, a secret meeting was held during the intervening night of 23rd and 24th where the rioters were instructed to carry sticks, stones, bricks, iron rods and whatever other weapons they could find for the next day (24th of February). Interestingly, a secret meeting was also held 15 days prior to the riots of 24th. In that meeting, it was categorically mentioned that since USA President Donald Trump would be in India, riots should be coordinated around the same time to ensure that it gets maximum publicity.
It was on the 24th then, that according to the chargesheet filed in the murder of Ratan Lal, the mob became violent and surrounded the police party. First, it was the women who started pelting stones and attacking the police. Then, the men from the mob joined in. This incident claimed the life of Ratan Lal and severely injured almost 40 other police personnel.
According to the chargesheet, the incident took place at 1:00 PM on the 24th of February 2020 and the riot that day was a part of a larger, deeper conspiracy hatched by elements like DS Bindra (who was hailed by the media as a messiah for organising langars for the protestors), Safoora Zargar, members of the JCC, Pinjra Tod members etc and local Muslim rioters.
While the chargesheet filed in the Ratan Lal murder speaks about the incidents that took place till about 1 PM on the 24th of February, another chargesheet numbered 68 talks about what happened after Ratan Lal was murdered.
Chargesheet Number 68: What is it about
Chargesheet number 68 pertains to the death of one Shahid who died of a gunshot wound to his stomach. On the 24th of February, 25-year-old Shahid, son of Allah Meher sustained a gunshot wound on his stomach while he was at the rooftop of Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy Pvt Ltd building. The building is located on a service road near 25 foota Chand Bagh, Main Wazirabad Road, right next to Chand Bagh Mazar.
This incident took place at about 3 PM after Ratan Lal was murdered by an Islamist mob at 1 PM. The chargesheet also covers how Hindus were pelting stones from Mohan Nursing Home, which is in Yamuna Vihar (Hindu dominated) and Muslims were pelting stones from Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy Pvt Ltd building, which is in Muslim dominated Chand Bagh. The two areas are divided by the Main Wazirabad Road.
In Google Map, one can see Mohan Nursing Home. Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy Pvt Ltd building doesn’t feature on Google Maps but since we know it is in the service road of 25 foota road, we can estimate the location to the other side of the Wazirabad Road.
According to the Chargesheet, what happened right after Ratan Lal was killed
On the 23rd of February, according to the chargesheet, the protestors suddenly shifted from the service road near 25 Foota road to the main Wazirabad Road. This led to traffic jams and the entire road being blocked by the protestors. On the 24th of February, provocative and communal slogans were being raised by the Islamist mobs since morning and additional forces were also deployed in the area as a precautionary measure.
On this day, an unusual number of protestors started gathering on Wazirabad Road. It is to be remembered here that the chargesheet filed in the Ratan Lal murder cited specifically that on 23rd night, a secret meeting was held and rioters were asked to bring along as many people as possible on the 24th and were also instructed to carry weapons.
At 1 PM, the crowd started pelting stones, shooting etc. This resulted in the death of HC Ratan Lal and several officers including the DCP and ACP were severely injured.
It was then, at 3 PM that the Hindus too entered the ‘arena’ and started stone pelting in retaliation, pushing the Muslims back.
Thus, at the very outset, it is established that the Hindus started stone-pelting as a retaliation to the Muslim mobs pelting stones, shooting, using iron rods and sticks against the police officials killing Ratan Lal and injuring several other police officers.
The chargesheet further says that the Muslim rioters were concentrated in the Chand Bagh area while the Hindus were confined towards Yamuna Vihar. Post 3 PM, the Hindus and Muslims occupied the roof of buildings that overlooks the main Wazirabad Hospital and started pelting stones at each other and even shooting at each other. It is pertinent to note here that even the current chargesheet categorically states that this riot was elaborately planned by anti-CAA mobs. There were rioters, intermediaries and conspirators. Further, this chargesheet also says that while while they furled the Indian flag, behind those flags, India was being maligned and communal slogans were being raised.
At this time, the Muslim rioters forcibly entered the Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy Pvt Ltd building.
The chargesheet says that the Muslim rioters threatened and forced the labourers and their families living there to flee the building and occupied it by force. The rioters then put a wooden ladder to reach the top of the building overlooking Wazirabad main road and from there, started hurling stones and shooting at not only the Police but even the Hindus. It was in this building’s rooftop that 25-year-old Shahid died. From this excerpt, it is safe to assume that Shahid was one of the rioters from the Muslim side who had occupied the building to pelt stones and shoot at the police and the Hindus there.
The Witness statements of the labourers living in the Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy Pvt Ltd building also corroborate the same.
The labourers who were threatened to flee the building with their families had similar stories to tell. At 3 PM, about 30 Muslim rioters forcibly entered the building and threatened the labourers to leave. A wooden ladder was used to reach the rooftop of the building. When the labourers were fleeing, they saw others carrying sacks of stones and bricks to the roof. The rioters were also carrying firearms. This entire sequence was also corroborated by the statements of 5 policemen who were at the scene. They narrated how the Muslim mob was attacking the police and it was only after the Hindus started their retaliation, did the Muslim mobs’ retreat.
In fact, the Muslim rioters were also ensuring the the tear gas shells fired by the police were thwarted by wet Jute bags. One accused, Raees, admits in the chargesheet that he had during the riots gone to his shop nearby to arrange for wet jute bags to counter the tear gas shells fired by the police.
While the Muslim rioters forcibly reached the rooftop of the Saptarishi Ispat & Alloy Pvt Ltd building, the Hindus, in retaliation, reached the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home.
The subsequent death of Shahid Alam during Delhi riots
The chargesheet mentions the circumstances that led to the death of Shahid Alam rather clearly. It states that he was at the rooftop of the Saptarishi Ispat & Alloys Pvt Ltd building on the 24th of February at around 3:00 PM. Due to the riots, along with Shahid, several others were present on the rooftop of the building, pelting stones and shooting at the police and the Hindus. The police at this time had lost control of the situation.
It is worthy to mention that at this time, Hindus had also reached the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home and were retaliating. At about 3:30 PM, Shahid sustained a gunshot wound to his stomach. That he was present at the rooftop of the building is corroborated not just by eye witness accounts but also by the NDTV footage that was aired on their Prime Time Show (hosted by Ravish Kumar).
The role of NDTV, other media houses and how they played up this death will be discussed in a subsequent article.
NDTV aired a couple of videos. One was of Shahid Alam being dragged down a wooden ladder after his gunshot injury and one was of Hindus pelting stones and firing from the roof of Mohan Nursing Home. The chargesheet says that the video of Shahid being dragged down is authentic and was corroborated by not just the postmortem video but also by the kin of Shahid. However, the chargesheet says that in the video, the Muslim rioters on the Saptarishi building were wearing masks and thus, they could not be identified.
Further in the chargesheet, a startling revelation is made.
The chargesheet categorically mentions that even the footage of Hindus firing from Mohan Nursing Home was examined. The distance between Mohan Nursing Home and Saptarishi building is about 78 meters. The bullet fragments retrieved from the body of Shahid Alam seems to be of a bullet fired from a small arm and hence, the police thinks that it is “highly unlikely” that it could have been fired from Mohan Nursing Home.
Who were the ones who took Shahid to the hospital innocent? The conspiracy
NDTV did show how Shahid was dragged down, using a ladder, however, they did not really track how the body was taken to the hospital or what happened thereafter. This aspect has been detailed in the chargesheet. This aspect is detailed though the statement of one Dr Mansoor Khan of the Madina Hospital.
Mansoor Khan had made a PCR call when he got the body of Shahid Alam. In the call, Dr Mansoor had said that some people came to hospital and discarded the body of a man who had suffered a gunshot injury. The call was made on the 24th of February and the caller was identified by the police as one Dr Mansoor Khan of Madina Hospital.
Shahid, who was dragged using a ladder from the rooftop of the Saptrashi building was simply left at the Madina Hospital. The ones who transported him there fled the scene without identifying him or even informing the hospital that Shahid needed medical attention.
According to the chargesheet, this pointed to the fact the rioters had tried everything in their power to ensure that their identify was hidden and the truth was not revealed.
From the videos posted by NDTV, it is clear that it was the Muslims who had dragged Shahid down from the rooftop of the Saptarishi building. It is thus obvious that it was the Muslims who had taken Shahid to the Madina Hospital after he had sustained gunshot injuries. It was only later that his family members returned to claim the body of Shahid Alam, long after he was dead and dumped in the hospital.
The questions and conclusions that arise from the revelations in the chargesheet filed in Delhi riots case
From all the previous chargesheets as well as chargesheet number 68, it is evident that the riots were initiated by the Muslim mobs and the death of Shahid could not have been caused by Hindus.
What led to the violence that got Shahid killed?
On the 23rd of February, two separate incidents took place. One was the illegal march on the Wazirabad Road that was stopped by the police. The other, was violence that took place where Muslims started pelting stones at Hindus in Jaffrabad. After this, a secret meeting was held between the rioters and conspirators who were organising the illegal march. The local rioters who have been arrested attest that elements like Safoora Zargar, AIMIM’s DS Bindra and others were involved in the conspiracy to commit riots. In the secret meeting, according to the chargesheet, rioters were asked to get weapons the next day (24th) and also bring along as many people as possible. In the statements by the accused and the witnesses, the rioters were also told that they will encounter the police during the riots and they will have to be dealt with.
On the 24th, at around 1 PM, an unusually large crowd gathered at Main Wazirabad Road and a riot started. The Islamist mobs started pelting stones and beating up the police with iron rods, acid bottles, sticks, stones, bricks etc. In the process, over 40 police officers were injured and Ratan Lal was killed by the mob.
At 3 PM, Hindus decided to retaliate. They congregated in Yamuna Vihar (Hindu dominated) and the Muslims were congregated at Chand Bagh. The Wazirabad Road divides the two areas. Hindus started pelting stones and firing from atop Mohan Nursing Home while the Muslims were at Saptarishi building which they had forcefully occupied after threatening the labourers in the building to flee. In the process, Shahid sustained a gun injury that claimed his life. He was brought down from the roof of the building using a wooden ladder. This scene was played up by the media claiming that an innocent Muslim youth had been killed by the Hindus.
How was Shahid killed during the Delhi riots?
The chargesheet in question categorically mentions that the distance between Mohan Nursing Home and Saptarishi building is about 78 meters. Further, the chargesheet says that the bullet fragments found from Shahid’s body indicate that the bullet was fired from a small arm and hence, due to the distance, could not have come from Mohan Nursing Home.
The question thus remains – Who killed Shahid?
During a riot, the shots being fired and stones being pelted don’t really hit only the ‘other side’. It has been proven that Shahid was himself a rioter who was pelting stones at the police and Hindus from atop the roof of Saptarishi building. If the bullet that killed him could not have come from the Hindu side (Mohan Nursing Home) then it could be tentatively concluded that bullets being fired by Muslims themselves could have killed Shahid.
The accused so far in the chargesheet are all Muslims namely Mohd Firoz, Chand Mohd, Rais Khan, Md Junaid, Irshad and Akil Ahmed.
Why was his body dumped anonymously in front of a hospital and what does it indicate?
The witness statement of one Dr Mansoor Khan of Madina Hospital says that the body of Shahid was dumped in front of the hospital anonymously. It was only later that his family came to claim the body of Shahid.
The police in the chargesheet concludes that this was done per a conspiracy to hide the identity of the rioters.
From the NDTV clip it is evident that it was the Muslim side itself that dragged the body down and took it to the Hospital. Why did his own people then abandon the body of Shahid? If the Hindus had indeed killed Shahid, would it not make sense for his family (his brother was also on the rooftop with him) to call the police and lodge a complaint? Would it not make sense for his own people to ensure that Shahid was admitted to the hospital and his wounds tended to? Would it not make sense for his family and friends to stay with Shahid and ensure that they lodge their statement with the police about how Hindus had killed Shahid?
None of this happened. Muslims simply discarded Shahid’s body in front of Madina Hospital and disappeared only to claim the body later.
This behaviour would only make sense had they known that Shahid did indeed die of bullet wounds inflicted by their own side. This is not explicitly mentioned in the chargesheet, however, all the evidence that is mentioned points towards this fact.
If it was indeed so, why did the Media run a fake story? If the media was present when Shahid was being dragged down from the roof, did they not find out where his body went? That it was abandoned? Why did they not question the Muslims abandoning his body? Was the media complicit?
These are questions that still remain to be answered.
What were the Hindus doing on the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home?
From the chargesheet, there is no denying that the Hindus were indeed on the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home and were pelting stones at the Muslims. However, it is also clear that the Hindus were retaliating to the Muslim mobs running amuck in the area. In fact, the chargesheet explicitly mentions that the Hindus started retaliating only at 3:00 PM, hours after Ratan Lal was murdered at 1 PM. Further, after Hindus started retaliating, the Muslim mobs were pushed back to a large extent. It is also pertinent to note that the mob that was pushed back was also attacking the police. Had Hindus not retaliated, the mob would have continued to attack not only Hindus but also the police officials.
To tout this as a riot that was initiated by the Hindus is a gross travesty of justice and a compromise with the truth that is only done when journalists saying so are consciously trying to further an anti-Hindu agenda and shield the Islamists who held Delhi and its Hindus to ransom for days. The blood-shed that followed the meticulous planning by the Islamist mobs has been detailed in ground reports as well as chargesheets which have been exclusively accessed by OpIndia. Any suggestion that the anti-Hindu Delhi riots were initiated by the Hindus is a blatant lie. The media was taken for a ride at best or was an accomplice in the riots at worst.