Delhi

Nine of those killed in northeast Delhi riots were forced to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’

A vandalised house during riots in north-east Delhi.

A vandalised house during riots in north-east Delhi.  

Charge sheet says more than 750 cases have been registered in connection with the riots and the murders

Nine Muslim young men, who were killed and their bodies thrown in a drain during the February communal riots in northeast Delhi, were forced to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ before they were stripped, thrashed and bludgeoned to death.

A total of 51 persons were killed in the riots that followed fierce protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the capital. More than 750 cases have been registered in connection with the riots and the murders, a copy of the charge sheet seen by The Hindu, said.

Also read | Police identify incidents that ‘led’ to north-east Delhi riots

The nine victims were identified as Mursalin, Aas Mohd, Aamin, Bhure Ali, Hamza, Musharraf, Akil Ahmed, and Hashim Ali and his elder brother Aamir Khan.

In their charge sheet, the Delhi Police have mentioned that these nine Muslim men were murdered in the period from the evening of February 25 till late night on February 26. Their bodies were recovered over a period of several days from the Bhagirathi Vihar drain.

The police arrested Lokesh Solanki, Pankaj Sharma, Ankit Chaudhary, Sumit Chaudhary, Prince, Jatin Sharma, Himanshu Thakur, Vivek Panchal and Rishabh Chaudhary, after confirming their involvement in connection with the nine murders. All of them are in judicial custody.

WhatsApp group

They were part of a WhatsApp group “Kattar Hindut Ekta” that was created on February 25 to take “revenge” on Muslims. The creator of the WhatsApp group is still absconding.

One of the accused, Lokesh Solanki, on February 25, messaged in the “Kattar Hindut Ekta” group: “Brother Lokesh Solanki this side from Ganga Vihar area if any Hindu need any back up then do contact. We have men, arms and ammunitions. I have just killed two Muslims in Bhagirathi Vihar area and thrown them in drain with the help of my team.”

“Their [attackers] modus operandi was, they used to catch the people passing through the area and ascertain their religion by asking name, address and by their document i.e. Identity Card and they were forcing them to call ‘Jai Shri Ram’ many times. The person who was not calling ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and carrying the identity of Muslim identity, they were bluntly attacked and thrown into the Main Ganda Nala [dirty drain], Bhagirathi Vihar, Delhi,” the charge sheet said.

A Police Control Room (PCR) call on February 25 at Gokalpuri Police Station and the caller mentioned: “Here Muslims are being killed and their vehicles are being burned.” The caller, who was a Hindu, and an eyewitness in the case, was traced during the investigation. The eyewitness himself was accosted by rioters on February 24 and found that his motorcycle was missing after he managed to free himself.

On February 25, he went to the Gokalpuri Police Station to register a complaint that his bike had been stolen. At about 4 p.m., while returning home from the police station, he saw a large mob carrying stones, cudgels, sticks, swords and iron rods on the Johripur pulia (bridge) shouting slogans like “Jai Sri Ram” and “Har Har Mahadev”.

Muslims targeted

They were checking the identity of persons passing through and if any Muslim was found, they were beating and throwing bodies in the drain after killing them, the charge sheet said. Most of the people in the mob were wearing helmets or had their faces muffled. He identified several rioters who were the part of the mob, the charge sheet said.

Another eyewitness, in his statement to the police, said that he was part of a crowd of Hindu youth chanting “Jai Shri Ram” that brought out one person belonging to the Muslim community from his house and beat him with sticks and stones. When he died, they dumped his body in the drain.

A Muslim man, who lost his shop and three vehicles in the riots, told the police that about 200-250 people had assembled near the Johripur drain and were raising slogans like “Jai Shri Ram”, “Hindu Ekta Zindabad”, “Jaago Hindu Jaago” in favour of the CAA through loudspeakers. Since many of them were locals, he knew them by name. All of them were carrying iron rods, sticks, lathis and dandas, and were insisting that Hindus assemble and kick out Muslim people from Bhagirathi Vihar, Delhi. They torched his shop located on ground floor of his house. He somehow managed to save his family, he had said.

Chat transcripts

WhatsApp chat transcripts are also part of charge sheet where rioters were talking about how many Muslims they had killed, offers for reinforcements were made, and requests for arms and ammunitions were also placed on the chat group.

The WhatsApp chat transcripts between the “Kattar Hindut Ekta” group members clearly fell in the category of extra-judicial confessions and had been done voluntarily, the charge sheet added.

During the investigation, some more co-accused/suspects — Monty Nagar, Avdesh Mishra @ Sardar, Monu, Sahil @ Babu, Shekhar, Mongli, Baba and Tinku — were identified but are yet to be arrested since their addresses could not be ascertained. After their arrests, a supplementary charge sheet will be filed.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 4:31:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/nine-of-those-killed-in-northeast-delhi-riots-were-forced-to-shout-jai-shri-ram/article31973715.ece

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