On Friday, the Delhi Police Special Cell disclosed that it had apprehended absconding weapons dealer Babu Wasim, who had provided weapons to Delhi riots accused Mohammad Shahrukh Khan alias Pathan. He also acknowledged to authorities that he supplied the pistol flashed by Pathan during the anti-Hindu Delhi riots in February 2020.
Babu Wasim (34), a Meerut resident, was detained at a park in Tahirpur, Delhi, near the Rajiv Gandhi Hospital. Police captured him carrying a semi-automatic pistol and five live cartridges.
Babu Wasim, according to information gathered by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, was a regular visitor to the Trans-Yamuna area of Delhi-NCR and other neighbouring parts of western Uttar Pradesh. The team then spent four months gathering information in order to pinpoint the hiding spots. Over the preceding decade, the accused admitted to authorities that he had provided firearms and ammunition to a number of gangsters and criminals in western Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi-NCR, including members of Irfan alias Chhainu Pehlwan’s gang. According to officials, Wasim provided weapons to more than 250 criminals, based on their assessments.
In addition, Babu Wasim faces seven outstanding criminal charges in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, including contract killings, shootouts terminating in murder, attempted murder, assault on police, and arms smuggling. Wasim and his friends reportedly murdered one Veenu Pandit at the behest of the deceased’s business partners in a Geeta Colony case five years ago.
Delhi anti-Hindu riots
Under the guise of anti-CAA protests, anti-Hindu riots erupted in Northeast Delhi in February 2020. As a result of the violence, more than 53 people were murdered, over 200 were wounded, and 400 were displaced. Muslim mobs stormed and set fire to homes, shops, and temples.
During the riots, photographs and footage of Shahrukh flashing a pistol at Delhi Police Head Constable Deepak Dahiya became viral on social media. Babu Wasim reportedly fled in order to avoid arrest in the cases after the photographs and recordings were made public. On March 16, 2021, the court pronounced him an offender.
Shahrukh fired two rounds before getting into a heated argument with a police officer and fleeing during the riots. He was arrested on March 3, 2020, and is facing charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act, including rioting with a hazardous weapon, attempting to murder, assaulting, and impeding the performance of public officials’ duties.