AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain (Photo Credit: Twitter: ANI)
Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain on Thursday was charged with murder in connection with the death of Intelligence Bureau (IB) employee, Ankit Sharma. Hussain has been booked under section 302 IPC (Punishment for murder) at Dayalpur police station. Sharma’s family accused Hussain of being behind the death. The councillor, however, has denied the allegations as "baseless" and called for an impartial probe.
Earlier in the day, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that any person found guilty of inciting violence in the national capital should be given stringent punishment, irrespective of the party they belong to. Kejriwal also said that the punishment should be doubled if the accused is from his party.
Tahir Hussain, however denied any involvement in the riots or the killing of an Intelligence Bureau staffer whose family accused him of being behind the murder, saying these are "baseless accusations".
He called for an impartial probe into the incident and said action should be taken against the guilty. "It is wrong to target me. I and my family have nothing to do with it," Hussain said. The AAP leader also demanded strict action against BJP leaders responsible for giving inflammatory speeches.
Ankit Sharma (26), who worked for the Intelligence Bureau (IB), had gone missing on Tuesday and his body was found in a drain near his home in northeast Delhi’s riot-hit Chand Bagh area on Wednesday. His family members claimed that the local councillor and his associates were behind the killing. Hussain has rejected the allegations.
"I came to know from news reports that I am being blamed for the murder of a man. These are lies and baseless accusations. For our safety, my family and I had moved away from our home on Monday in police presence," he said.
Earlier in the evening, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal held a press briefing and urged police to take stern action against the rioters irrespective of the parties they belong. Speaking for the first time on alleged involvement of AAP councillor Tahir Hussain in the communal riots in northeast Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said no person from whichever party they belong to should be spared and should be given stringent punishment.
"Any person who is found guilty should be given stringent punishment. If any Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) person is found guilty then that person should be given double the punishment. There should be no politics on the issue of national security," Kejriwal said while addressing the media.
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh also said the party’s stand remains clear that strictest punishment must be taken against anyone associated with spreading violence and added that Hussain has given his statement on the matter.
Thirty-four people have been killed and over 200 injured in the communal clashes that broke out in northeast Delhi three days ago after violence between anti and pro Citizenship (Amendment) Act groups spiralled out of control.
Frenzied mobs torched houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelted stones at locals and police personnel. Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh and Shiv Vihar are among the areas mainly affected by the riots.
(With agency inputs)