Delhi

School owner played pivotal role in riots: police

Books lie scattered at the Rajdhani Public School which was vandalised in violence at Shiv Vihar in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

Books lie scattered at the Rajdhani Public School which was vandalised in violence at Shiv Vihar in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, February 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

In the chargesheet submitted against Rajdhani School owner Faisal Farooq in connection with the north-east Delhi riots, the police have claimed that he allegedly asked his school guards to allow Muslims to use the premises for carrying out violence.

The police have charged Mr. Farooq and 17 other people with rioting, attempt to murder, and criminal conspiracy for violence at DRP Public School — located near Rajdhani School — during the riots that broke out in February.

Alleging that Mr. Farooq played a pivotal role in organising people near his school, the police claimed that he told one Shahrukh Malik, who has also been arrested in the case, to be prepared for any kind of “sacrifice for the community”. The police alleged that Mr. Farooq gave Mr. Malik ₹5,000 and directed him to wipe-out “business interests of Hindus”.

Responding to the allegations, Mr. Farooq’s advocate R.K. Kochar said: “The police took Shahrukh’s signature on a blank paper and wrote his statement.”

The DRP School’s security guard and his wife, and Rajdhani School’s security guard are among the witnesses in the case.

While the police have stated that the DRP School guard told them that he had ‘heard and seen’ Mr. Farooq directing his own school’s guard to allow Muslims inside the school; the statement given by him to the magistrate on March 11 does not mention Mr. Farooq.

The police have also claimed that Mr. Farooq was linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI), Jamia Coordination Committee, member of Pinjra Tod, local Muslim leaders and clerics. Mr. Kochar replied: “The man they have said is Mr. Farooq’s PFI link is his first cousin. One name mentioned as Pinjra Tod member is a journalist with a national daily.”

The police have also detailed Mr. Farooq’s links with the Tablighi Jamaat and association with a man who is supposedly close to Nizamuddin centre chief Maulana Saad. In the document, police have stated that one Abdul Aleem is a close associate of Mr. Saad and “by virtue of holding an important position in Tablighi Jamaat, could have played a role in facilitating Mr. Farooq”.

“The police have no evidence for any of their claims,” said Mr. Kochar.

Property link

The police also mentioned Mr. Farooq’s properties as a further link to Tablighi Jamaat. “Maulana Saad rose to power in Tablighi Jamaat in 2014. It has been noticed that Faisal Farooq has also risen in terms of acquisition in real estate in North East District [sic],” the document stated, mentioning seven of Mr. Farooq’s properties.

Responding to the allegation, Mr. Kochar said Mr. Farooq’s father has shown all documents to the police during questioning regarding their properties dating back decades ago. Mr. Farooq’s father was a Delhi Police sub-inspector from 1970-78 before he quit and became an LIC agent.

Third mention of doctor

This chargesheet also happens to be the third one to mention Al-Hind Hospital owner M.A. Anwar. His name comes up twice in the document. The first time under the subhead ‘Maulanas and local Muslim leaders of the area’, referring to people Mr. Farooq was in touch with; and the second time in a flowchart on the same subject mentioning that he has “suspect role in Daryaganj riots too”.

Dr. Anwar was unavailable for a comment.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 1:00:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/school-owner-played-pivotal-role-in-riots-police/article32018948.ece

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