New Delhi: Suspended Aam Aadmi Party leader Tahir Hussain confessed to being the mastermind behind the February riots in Northeast Delhi, the Delhi Police has said in its interrogation report.
The report, accessed by ThePrint, is part of a larger chargesheet that was filed in June. It said Hussain claimed that he wanted to “teach Hindus a lesson” using his political position and money.
It added that he took help of an acquaintance, Khalid Saifi, on 8 January and met former JNU student leader Umar Khalid at the office of Popular Front of India, a Kerala-based radical organisation, in Shaheen Bagh.
The Delhi Police’s report noted that Hussain’s job was to collect acid, petrol, glass bottles and stones, which he stored on the rooftop of his house in Chand Bagh locality.
Saifi allegedly told him that another PFI member, Danish, was willing to provide financial assistance for the “war against Hindus”.
In the meantime, the police claimed, Saifi also arranged a protest with his friend Ishrat Jahan at Khureji near Shaheen Bagh, which eventually spread to different parts of Delhi.
Pulled out CCTVs, moved family to safety
During the interrogation, Hussain said he met Saifi on 4 February to plan out the riots properly, the police said in its report.
According to the police, this is when they decided to instigate the riots around US President Donald Trump’s visit to put more pressure on the central government.
The Delhi Police also claimed that Hussain said he had decided not to harm the people of his own community during the riots, and hence shifted his wife, children and some relatives to a “safer place”.
The former AAP councillor also pulled out all CCTV cameras so the police could not find any evidence, the report said, adding that he also kept calling Delhi Police officers on the day of the riots so he was not suspected.
According to a chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police on 3 June, Hussain, along with nine others, planned the murder of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma, whose body was found in a drain in Chand Bagh on 26 February during the violence in Northeast Delhi.
The interrogation report said Hussain also told the police that he was aggrieved after the scrapping of Article 370, which revoked the special status granted to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, which said the disputed land be handed over to a trust for construction of a Ram Temple.