30 detained for rioting over college student murder
Thirty people were detained on Sunday following a clash with the police in Ballabhgarh, as a group of over 200 persons blocked the Delhi-Agra highway demanding justice for the family of 20-year-old Nikita Tomar, who was shot dead by her stalker outside Aggarwal College on October 26.
Earlier in the day, a ‘mahapanchayat’ was held at Dussehra ground over the incident. The police said the mob blocked the highway and started pelting stones at them when they intervened, leaving 10 personnel injured.
OP Singh, Faridabad police commissioner, said that the family members of Tomar had called a ‘mahapanchayat’ of 36 communities in Ballabhgarh to demand justice. “Both the suspects were arrested within 36 hours and the weapon and car used in the crime were recovered from Nuh. The investigation was conducted by a special investigation team headed by an assistant commissioner of police and a speedy trial has been initiated. We have ensured strict punishment for the suspects,” he said.
Singh said that while 30 people were detained, others who had directed the group to disrupt peace and give it a religious angle are being identified.
Last Monday, Touseef Ahmad, a resident of Kabeer Nagar in Sohna, and his friend, Rehaan, a resident of Riwasan in Nuh, arrived in a Hyundai i20 and tried to force Tomar, a final-year physiotherapy student of Gurugram University, into their vehicle as she exited the college after writing an exam.
When she resisted their attempts, Touseef chased her down and shot her in the head from close range at 3:48pm in full public view, as seen in the footage that emerged. The suspects escaped from the crime scene, leaving Tomar, who was accompanied by a friend, in a pool of blood. She was rushed to a government hospital, where she was declared dead.
The entire incident was captured by CCTV cameras in the area and sent shock waves across the state, triggering protests by her classmates and students’ groups.
The two suspects — of whom one is politically connected, according to the police — were arrested from Nuh on Monday and Tuesday after a massive search operation, the police said.
On Sunday, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the Centre and state governments are looking into the case. “Since the murder case of the B.Com student is being linked with ‘love jihad,’ the Centre, as well as the state government, is looking into it and considering legal provisions so that the guilty is not able to escape, and no innocent person is punished. Fast track court would be established in this case for giving strict punishment to culprits,” he said.
Tomar’s murder has triggered communal rage in the region, as right-wing leaders are alleged to have made “hate speeches” in the ‘mahapanchayat’ held on Sunday, the police said.
Sumer Singh Yadav, the deputy commissioner of police (Ballabhgarh), said that the people had come from Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Delhi, Nuh, Palwal and Gurugram to attend the ‘mahapanchayat’ and plans were afoot to disrupt the peace and create communal fervour. The rioters damaged a few shops too, he said.