Tahir Hussain: A Delhi councillor on police radar

Tahir is accused of murder and rioting

March 03, 2020 10:20 pm | Updated March 04, 2020 10:37 am IST - New Delhi

Tahir Hussain

Tahir Hussain

On February 24, the name of a little-known AAP leader in Delhi started making headlines, first as a victim of a violence in north-east Delhi and over the next three days as one of the accused in the violence: Tahir Hussain, AAP councillor from Nehru Vihar.

On February 27, an FIR was filed on charges of murder and rioting against him and later in the day, he was suspended from the party and has been absconding since then.

Mr. Hussain’s name first came up in media reports last week stating that protesters have broken into his house and destroyed property.

Later, the FIR was filed against him after family of an Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer, Ankit Sharma, blamed the AAP leader for Sharma’s death .

Mr. Hussain, hailing from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, joined AAP in 2015-16, according to party leaders.

In 2017, he was pursuing his Class 10 from National Institute of Open Schooling and did not have any cases pending against him nor was he convicted in any case, according to his affidavit for the municipal elections.

“He had a very secular image in the area and was a businessman and also a social worker. He had joined the party through Kapil Mishra,” a senior AAP leader said.

A source close to him denied that Mr. Mishra had introduced Mr. Hussain to AAP.

Innocent or guilty?

Replying to the allegations about attacks being launched from his house, Mr. Hussain had said in a video message, “Whatever news about me is circulating is wrong. It is dirty politics to defame me ... Police had moved me from here along with my family.”

News agency ANI issued a clarification on Tuesday evening that Delhi Police “sources” have now told it that Mr. Hussain was not rescued on the intervening night of February 24 and 25. ANI said that police had received the news of the councillor being stuck, but upon investigation, it was found he was safe in his house.

Divided opinion

“He had a good image before this violence happened. People were throwing petrol bomb and stones from his rooftop on 24th (February) and he was present there,” said Danvanti Devi, 40, from Moonga Nagar, who lives opposite Mr. Hussain’s property, which is currently sealed.

In Mustafabad, about 400 metres away, he is considered as a secular figure and accessible. "More than us, he worked for the Hindus. He would walk around and sit on corridors of the shops and talk to people," said Mohammad Kasim from Mustafabad.

“He used to roam around the streets and sometimes even with workers from the municipality. He sits at the office here almost every day,” said a 48-year-old who runs a business in the area.

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