New Delhi: The riot narrative has changed. The Delhi Police on Thursday swooped down at several locations, trying to ferret out AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, who has been booked for murder for his role in the riots and killing of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in a drain.
The raids came even as the AAP took note of the development and suspended the councillor from its membership. CM Arvind Kejriwal had earlier in the day responded to the allegations, saying: "No one, be it any party, should be spared if they are responsible for inciting violence".
Ankit’s father, who is also an IB employee, has alleged that supporters of Hussain had killed his son, who had been beaten up and then stabbed. Similar allegations also emanated from BJP leader Kapil Sharma, whose hate speech has been linked to the violence that has scarred the national capital.
"The killer is Hussain. In a video, he can be seen with the masked boys carrying sticks, stones, bullets and petrol bombs. He was constantly talking to Kejriwal and AAP leaders," Mishra, who has a history of making inflammatory comments, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The police have sealed Hussain's house and factory, the roof of which was allegedly used to hurl stones.
Earlier in the day, Hussain denied any involvement in the riots or the killing, saying these are "baseless accusations". He has further claimed that he and his family had moved to a safe place in the presence of the police on the 24th" and never returned home after that.
Videos are doing the rounds which show some men on the roof of a building near Ankit Sharma's residence who appear to be involved in stone-throwing.
There are allegations petrol bombs were also thrown from the roof. In the videos, thick smoke can be seen rising from below the same building, suggesting Hussain's house too may have been under attack.
In another video, Hussain is seen holding a wooden stick with smoke rising from his building. Admitting that he was seen in the video, he clarified that the video was of February 24.
"The rioters had entered my house after breaking the main door. I was trying to shoo them away using a lathi," he said, adding that he had even called the police but no one responded to his calls. Hussain further said that the police came to his house at 9 p.m. on Sunday. "Joint Commissioner Alok Kumar and DCP A.K. Singla came.
They searched my house in the presence of my neighbours, following which I left along with my family," he said, adding that when he returned on Tuesday morning, he found the situation had worsened. So, he left again after speaking to the police.
The Delhi Police has, meanwhile, formed an SIT to investigate all riot cases. It has been been constituted under the Delhi Police Crime Branch.