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Communalism

Delhi Riots: Tobacco Seller From Shiv Vihar Arrested for Murder

The police said that multiple witnesses identified Shehnawaz as having allegedly pelted stones, ransacked and torched several shops in Shiv Vihar.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has arrested a 27-year-old tobacco seller in  Shiv Vihar, Mohd Shehnawaz, on Saturday for allegedly killing Dilbur Singh Negi (20) during the Delhi riots on February 24.

The police said that multiple witnesses identified Shehnawaz as having allegedly pelted stones, ransacked and torched several shops in Shiv Vihar. He was not missing or absconding, and was picked from the area by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch probing the matter under the leadership of DCP Rajesh Deo.

“He assumed that the mob frenzy would have acted like a cover and he would not be identified. Multiple eyewitnesses identified him as the main aggressor,” a senior police officer claimed.

Negi, originally from Pauri in Uttarakhand, had come to Delhi just six months ago. He was employed as a waiter at Anil Sweets, which was attacked by the mob on February 24.

He had gone missing after the attack, however, his body was recovered two days later. “His body was completely charred. Even his arms were missing and I had to understand by the short height and shape of the face,” Negi’s brother Devender told the Indian Express.

“Shehnawaz entered into a bookstore and a sweets shop godown at Chaman Park in Shiv Vihar and torched both places along with other rioters. On February 26, the body of a person named Dilbur Singh was found from the shop and a case of murder was registered. Both his hands had been cut off,” said Anil Mortal, additional PRO of the Delhi Police.

As per the official figures, at least 53 people have died and over 300 injured in the Delhi riots. 690 FIRs have been registered and 2,193 persons have been detained or arrested.

The Delhi police has also arrested three aides – Tariq Rizvi, Liyakat and Riyasat – of suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, who is being accused of rioting and murdering Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma. Hussain – who has denied the charges and said that he was himself a victim of the riots – has also been arrested.

Meanwhile, the right-wing propaganda websites OpIndia and Organiser have termed the recent riots in Delhi as “anti-Hindu” riots by highlighting the murders of IB staffer Ankit Sharma and Negi, ignoring the much longer list of people who have died. Most reports, however, have indicated that even though there may have been violence from Muslim groups as well, there was a much larger targeting of Muslims home, and the violence against Muslims continued for three days without the police force intervening to stop it.