Intelligence Bureau officer Ankit Sharma, killed during the Delhi violence in February, was "specifically targeted" by a mob led by suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councilor Tahir Hussain, the police said in a charge-sheet submitted in court today.
Ankit Sharma, 26, a Security Assistant with IB, was dragged by the mob and attacked with knives, sticks, rods and stones before his body was dumped in a drain during the violence that swept through northeast Delhi in February-end, the police said. The body was found the next day.
"A witness standing on a terrace had captured a video on his mobile phone, in which a group of persons are seen dumping the dead body in the drain. During post mortem, the doctors found 51 sharp and blunt injuries on Ankit's body," the 650-page charge-sheet says.
According to the charge-sheet, on February 25, at around 5 pm, Ankit Sharma was trying to pacify two groups near Tahir Hussain's house when he was surrounded by a mob of around 25 and dragged to the spot known as "Chand Bagh Pulia".
Charges of murder, kidnapping, rioting, promoting religious enmity and conspiracy have been listed against 10 people, including Tahir Hussain and the main accused, Salman. The testimonies of 96 witnesses are included in the document.
There was "deep-rooted conspiracy" behind the murder, the police said.
"Investigation has revealed that there was a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the riot and murder of Ankit Sharma, who was a familiar face in the area. He was specifically targeted by a mob led by Tahir Hussain, a politician of AAP and sitting councilor in Delhi. It has been found that Tahir Hussain is the main person who had been instigating the mob, both on February 24 and 25, in the Chand Bagh area," the charge-sheet said.
The charge-sheet says Tahir Hussain "led the mob from his house and also from a mosque near Chand Bagh Pulia on February 24, 25 and gave it a communal colour".
The main accused is Salman, say the police, and a voice call on his phone helped the police piece together the murder.
"Salman is the person who had assaulted him with knife. During his interrogation, he revealed that he had heard about the killing of a 4-year-old Muslim Boy by a Hindu, he became angry and took a knife and along with his accomplices, Sameer, Kasim, Sabir and others came to Chand Bagh Pulia on February 25," the police said.
Salman, according to the charge-sheet, confessed to stabbing Ankit Sharma a number of times with a knife.
The charge-sheet says the suspended AAP leader incited rioters who attacked Ankit Sharma.
"He provoked and instigated the Muslims against Hindus saying that Hindu people had killed a number of Muslims and set fire to their shops at Sherpur Chowk. On his provocation/ instigation, the Muslims turned violent and volatile on February 24 and 25 and started burning the shops and pelting stones and petrol bombs on Hindus people and also targeted their houses," the police said.
Salman was identified during investigations as the rioter caught on camera in a red shirt, throwing Ankit's body in a drain.
The police said Tahir Hussain had moved his family to their home in Mustafabad but he remained in Delhi. The call location of Hussain near the spot where Ankit was murdered was also taken as proof against him.
The violence that erupted during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) left over 50 dead.
The police said Tahir Hussain had his pistol released from the police just before the riots and couldn't satisfactorily explain why. He allegedly also bought 100 cartridges but only 64 live cartridges and 22 shells were recovered from him. He was unable to give a satisfactory answer, said the police, for the remaining 14 live cartridges and the used cartridges.
Police said that they recovered from Hussain's house several empty crates for glass bottles and crates of glass stuffed with pieces of cloth, which were allegedly used as Molotov cocktails. The police also recovered bricks, stones and three catapults from his house, the charge-sheet said.