Tahir Hussain, suspect in IB staffer’s murder arrested, toll in Delhi riots rises to 53

Updated on Mar 06, 2020 12:25 AM IST

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had suspended Hussain soon after the case of murder in the IB staffer’s death was registered and he was allegedly linked to it.

Police personnel take suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain into custody after Delhi Court rejected his plea to surrender before it, at Rouse Avenue Court, in New Delhi, Thursday, March 5, 2020.(HT photo)
Police personnel take suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain into custody after Delhi Court rejected his plea to surrender before it, at Rouse Avenue Court, in New Delhi, Thursday, March 5, 2020.(HT photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

The Delhi Police on Thursday arrested suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain from a Delhi court where he had come to surrender, ending an eight-day-long search launched after he was booked for murder and abduction of Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer Ankit Sharma in Chand Bagh during communal riots in northeast Delhi last week.

The special investigation teams (SITs) probing the riots cases took Hussain into custody after the Rouse Avenue court dismissed his plea, seeking to surrender before it by saying that the relief sought by him was outside the court’s jurisdiction. The court said that as per the provisions of 177 Criminal Procedure Code (Ordinary place of inquiry and trial), the offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by court within whose local jurisdiction it is committed.

“In the instant case, the offence has been committed within the jurisdiction of PS Dayalpur, which falls within the jurisdiction of Karkardooma Court. The reason given in the application for moving this application does not justify the conduct of the applicant to choose this forum for seeking the reliefs,” the judge said.

The Karkardooma Court, where Hussain’s anticipatory bail application was moved on Wednesday, also rejected the request on Thursday, observing that nobody had appeared from his side. The court had on Wednesday issued notice to the police on the anticipatory bail plea and kept it for hearing on Thursday.

Before being caught, Hussain had given an interview to India Today in which he claimed to be “innocent” and alleged that he was being framed as part of “some conspiracy”. Hussain said he was ready to undergo a “narco-analysis (test)” and cooperate the police in their probe. He said he has faith in police and the judiciary and that the police would do a “fair investigation”.

The police officials took Hussain to the crime branch’s office in Sunlight Colony where he is being interrogated in connection with IB officer’s murder case and two more cases of alleged firing, pelting of stones and petrol bombs from his Chand Bagh house on February 24 and 25. A man named Ajay Goswami, the complainant in the attempt to murder case, had sustained a bullet injury in his back during the firing.

“We have arrested Hussain and are interrogating him to ascertain his role and the exact sequence of events leading to the murder of the IB staffer, whose body with multiple stab wounds was recovered from a drain in Chand Bagh on February 26,” said a senior crime branch officer.

Another officer associated with the SITs said Hussain’s interrogation will be videographed. “Investigators will confront him with the videos of violence from his house and the presence of petrol bombs, empty bottles, sticks and other incriminating materials that were recovered by the police and forensic team,” the officer said.

Special commissioner of police (crime and intelligence) Praveer Ranjan said Hussain will be produced in the city court on Friday.

On Thursday afternoon, Advocate Mukesh Kalia, appearing for Hussain, submitted that there is a grave apprehension of threat to his life and therefore he has not surrendered before competent court as there is “charged environment” in Karkardooma District court. He said Hussain has no connection or involvement in the FIR registered by the police and he is being falsely implicated.

Considering the gravity of the situation, Hussain wishes to surrender before the court, he said.

The court said the Delhi High Court has specifically made a division of the jurisdictions, be that of the police stations or the courts district-wise and work has been allocated accordingly.

It said: “This court is a special designated court dealing with the matters of MPs/MLAs. The high court has designated this court as special court to deal with cases on fast track with endeavour to dispose of the same within one year as its objective.

“The applicant does not fall in the aforesaid category, hence this application cannot be even entertained by this court.” The court further said that the relief sought by Hussain does not fall within the domain or jurisdiction of this court, “hence, no such relief can be granted. In view of the observations, the application deserves to be dismissed”.

As the court dismissed Hussain’s plea, a Delhi Police team, which had already arrived, arrested him and took him into custody.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had suspended Hussain soon after the case of murder in the IB staffer’s death was registered and he was allegedly linked to it.

Police registered 701 cases, including 47 under the Arms Act, till Thursday in connection with the last week’s communal violence, which had so far claimed 53 lives and left over 400 others injured. A total of 1,820 people have either been arrested or detained so far.

(with agency inputs)

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