AAP leader defends Tahir Hussain, blamed by IB official’s family for his death
The family members of Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer Ankit Sharma have accused Tahir Hussain, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor from Nehru Vihar, of plotting his death at the hands of the mob during violence in Northeast Delhi.
“The mob that snatched and killed my brother was operating from Hussain’s house. A mob was pelting stones from the terrace of that building,” Sharma’s brother Ankur said.
The 26-year-old’s body was fished out of a clogged drain in Chand Bagh, where he lived. Sharma worked as security assistant with the IB.
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Ankur said his brother had left for work around 8 am on Tuesday and returned home around 4.30 pm. “He had gone out to see what was happening when Hussain’s men caught him,” alleged Ankur.
“Ankit went at the site (Chand Bagh) where stone-pelting was taking place. Around 15-20 people came from Tahir’s building and dragged 5-6 people inside the building. They also fired at other people who tried to save those taken inside the building,” his father Ravinder Kumar told news agency ANI. Kumar is an assistant sub-inspector with the Delhi Police and works at the Karol Bagh police station in Central Delhi.
A senior police officer said they are investigating the allegations. Kumar said an FIR was filed after his son went missing.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra took to Twitter an demanded Hussain’s arrest, sharing a video that showed rioters pelting stones and petrol bombs from the roof of a house that Mishra and local residents said belongs to the leader.
Hussain denied having anything to do with the murder or the riots. “I have come to know from TV reports that I am being blamed for the murder of a man. These are lies and baseless accusations. For our safety, my family and I had moved away from our home on Monday in police presence. There should be an impartial probe into the incident and action should be taken against whoever is found guilty. It is wrong to target me. I and my family have nothing to do with it,” he said.
The party’s social media head Ankit Lal shared Hussain’s video saying he was rescued by the police on February 24 after a mob attacked his home.
In a tweet, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Sharma’s death a “tragic loss of life”.
A local resident who claimed to be an eyewitness said Sharma’s brother Ankur and two of his friends were taken away by the mob, and when some other people tried to rescue them, they were forced to retreat because the mob fired at them.
Around 10 pm, Ankit’s family began visiting different police stations and hospitals in east Delhi to search for him. Ankit’s body was found in the drain on Wednesday morning after some women nearby told the authorities that a mob had dumped some bodies in the drain and then rolled cement-laden sacks on it in a bid to drown it. The authorities then brought in divers to fish out the body. There was no word on his missing friend.
The four-storey house that residents said belonged to the local AAP leader was found deserted and partially burnt on Wednesday.