New Delhi: The Delhi Police Crime Branch Monday filed four more charge sheets in connection with the northeast Delhi communal riots, stating the violence was “not impromptu, but were conspired with intent to create communal strife, to malign the image of the country under the garb of democratically opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act”.
While one charge sheet was filed against 17 Muslim men for allegedly murdering Delhi Police head constable Rattan Lal, the second was filed against 6 Muslim men for the murder of one Shahid.
The third charge sheet was filed against 6 Hindus for the murder of one Maruf Ali, while the fourth was filed against 8 Muslims, including former AAP leader Tahir Hussain, for allegedly attempting to murder one Ajay Goswami.
On 24 February, a mob allegedly attacked the police force deployed on main Wazirabad road, Chand Bagh. Head Constable Rattan Lal was shot dead by the mob, while DCP, Shahdara, Amit Kumar Sharma and ACP Anuj Kumar sustained serious injuries.
According to the police, the mob chased the injured police officers to Mohan Nursing home and even vandalised it.
In the first charge sheet, the Delhi Police claims to have investigated the chronology of the events since the enactment of the CAA and concluded the riots were “orchestrated in the garb of opposing the CAA”.
The charge sheet also stated “it was a deep-rooted conspiracy, which triggered the communal riots”.
According to the police, the 17 men who have been booked for the murder of Rattan Lal were part of a “web of conspirators, instigators”, who spread misinformation regarding CAA, leading to the riots.
“The conspirators caused disruption by the dual scheme of spreading misinformation on the CAA and Chakka Jam (creation of traffic jams as a form of protest), which triggered a major communal riot,” the charge sheet stated.
‘Killed by his own men’
In the second charge sheet in connection with the murder of one Shahid, the police have booked six Muslim men under charges of murder, rioting, criminal conspiracy, and under provision of Arms Act.
The police claimed Shahid was one of the rioters and was “accidentally killed by his own men”.
According to the charge sheet, on 24 February, the rioters barged into Saptrishi building situated on the main Wazirabad road near the protest site. They then resorted to indiscriminate firing from the terrace of Saptrishi building and that is when one bullet hit Shahid.
“Shahid was the part of the mob that was firing from the building. He was accidentally shot at by one of his own men. From the angle he was shot at, it appears to be an accidental shot,” a senior police officer said.
“There are eyewitnesses who told us that he was shot at by the crowd,” the officer said.
Six Muslim men were arrested in connection with Shahid’s murder and booked for murder, rioting and criminal conspiracy.
Pro-NRC, CAA protesters ‘killed’ a Muslim
In the third charge sheet filed against six Hindus for the murder of one Maruf Ali, police stated “a mob, which was raising slogans in the support of NRC (National Register of Citizens) and the CAA, arrived and started pelting stones and opened fire at Maruf”.
The incident was reported on 25 February and the arrests were made soon after. The six men were booked for rioting, arson, promoting enmity, and under Arms Act.
According to the police, Maruf along with his neighbour Shamshad was standing near gali No. 3, Subhash Mohalla, when a mob, which was raising slogans in support of the NRC and the CAA, arrived, and started pelting stones and opening fire.
“Maruf sustained gunshot injury on his head while Shamshad sustained gunshot injury in his abdomen. Both were taken to the LNJP hospital where Maruf was declared brought dead and Shamshad was admitted for further treatment,” the charge sheet said.
‘Tahir asked me to be prepared for a big riot’
The fourth charge sheet has been filed against eight Muslims for firing a bullet at one Ajay Goswami and attempting to kill him at the behest of suspended AAP leader Hussain.
According to the police, on 25 February, Goswami was hit by a bullet in his buttock outside Hussain’s house.
During investigation, Goswami named one Gulfam and Tanveer as the main culprits.
“They along with others had been firing indiscriminately from the terrace of Tahir Hussain’s house,” a second senior police officer said.
Following Goswami’s complaint, police arrested eight people, including Gulfam, Tanveer, Hussain and his younger brother Shah Alam.
“Gulfam’s licensed weapon, a .32 bore pistol, was recovered along with one extra magazine and 7 live rounds,” the officer added.
“Gulfam then disclosed that he had actively participated in the anti-CAA protests in the month of January, and Tahir Hussain had asked him to be prepared for a ‘big riot’,” he added.
The police claimed Hussain had given Gulfam Rs 15,000 to purchase fresh ammunition.
“Accordingly on 31 January, Gulfam purchased 100 rounds. He already had about 100 rounds stored with him from before. He had fired most of these 200 rounds during the riots. Only 7 live rounds were recovered from him,” the officer said.
“The preparation for ‘big riot’, purchase of bullets and indiscriminate firing from Tahir Hussain’s house show the extent of conspiracy behind the riots,” the charge sheet stated.
Hussain has already been named in two other charge sheets — one for allegedly conspiring and executing the riots, and another for allegedly killing Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma during the riots.