A Delhi Court on Friday summoned former AAP Councilor Tahir Hussain and nine other people co-accused in the murder of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Ankit Sharma, who was killed during the communal violence in north-east Delhi on February 25. The Hon’ble court noted that prima facie Hussain had provoked and instigated people to promote riots between Hindus and Muslims.
The court observed that Tahir Hussain had instigated the people by claiming that the Hindus had killed several Muslims and they should not let them go scot-free. "On his provocation/ instigation, the Muslims turned violent on February 24 and February 25 and started burning shops and pelting stones and petrol bombs houses belonging to Hindus situated in that locality...The uncontrolled mob turned into rioters and in process of rioting caught hold of Ankit Sharma and dragged him to Chand Bagh Pulia and attacked him using sharp and blunt objects/ weapons in a brutal manner and threw his body in the drain.", the court said.
Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam Pathak noted that "Circumstances indicated that the riot took place in a planned manner resulted from a well-hatched conspiracy and it was abetted by the leader of the mob, accused Tahir Hussain". He also said that Hussain had facilitated the rooftop of his house and provided logistic support to the rioters. Moreover, there is enough evidence to take cognizance against Hussain and others for leading the mob.
The court was however informed that the police have not yet obtained sanction against Hussain and other co-accused in the case from the competent authorities as requisite. MM Pathak stated, “I am of the opinion that there is sufficient material on record to take cognizance of the offenses alleged to have been committed by accused persons,
Advocate Javed Ali, who is representing Hussain in the case, submitted that “Even though cognizance has been taken and the case has been committed to the sessions court for trial, it does not mean that offense is committed by the accused. It shows that the evidence given in the charge sheet is sufficient to start the trial. Moreover, the prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt during the trial”
Police had charged Hussain and others under section 147 and 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy houses, etc.), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention)
The court also took the cognizance of another charge sheet filed in the murder case of Hashim Ali against nine persons. The Police informed that the accused person created a WhatsApp group named - KattarHindut Ekta in order to mobilize rioters.
The court has directed all the accused to be produced before it on August 28 through video conferencing for the next hearing in the case.