Delhi riots: Police files two chargesheets, names suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain
New Delhi, June 02: Suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain allegedly spent around Rs 1.10 crore to fund anti-CAA protests and the subsequent communal violence that rocked northeast Delhi in February, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police said in a 1,030-page charge sheet filed at Karkardooma court on Tuesday.
The police filed another chargesheet in connection with the clashes between pro- and anti-CAA protesters in Jafrabad on the night of February 23. A case of rioting was registered at the Khajuri Khas Police Station in which 15 people including Hussain were arrested for their alleged role in the riots that occurred at about 2.15 pm on February 24 outside the suspended AAP councillor's house in Delhi's Chand Bagh area.
The police said during investigation, it emerged that there was a "deep rooted conspiracy" to cause riots in Northeast Delhi and Hussain, an Aam Aadmi Party leader and sitting councilor in East Delhi Municipal Corporation, played a pivotal role in the incident. The chargesheet stated that Hussain allegedly transferred around Rs 1.10 crore from the accounts of companies owned by him to alleged fake companies.
He received the amount in cash in the second week of January, 2020 through a chain of transactions and thereafter, distributed the money to anti-CAA protestors. Police also obtained the bank details of two companies owned by Hussain -- Show Effect Advertising Pvt Ltd and Essence Cellcom Pvt Ltd -- from HDFC Bank. The details were analysed to verify the disclosure made by Hussain regarding organising and distributing cash for anti-CAA protests and the riots, it said.
According to the chargesheet, the bank account details showed six suspicious transactions from Essence Cellcom Pvt Ltd. amounting to Rs 92 lakhs to two other accounts.
"His (Hussain's) another company Show Effect Advertising Pvt Ltd showed a transfer of Rs 20 lakh on January 8... All these chain of transactions are being investigated," it said.
According to the chargesheet, during interrogation Hussain admitted his involvement in the riots and also confessed that he was present on the terrace of his house during as violence broke out in the area around his house. Hussain was in touch with other anti-CAA protestors and had met Khalid Saifi of United Against Hate and JNU student leader Umar Khalid at the Shaheen Bagh protest site on January 8, it said.
Saifi told Hussain to be prepared for "something big" at the time of the visit of US President Donald Trump and also said that he and other PFI members will help him financially. Saifi gave him some money for the preparations, the chargesheet said.
A day prior to the riots on February 22, Hussain got his pistol released from Khajuri Kha Police Station but during interrogation couldn’t give a satisfactory reply as to why he did so, the police said in the chargesheet.
He was connected to Saifi and Khalid who were part of a larger group of people responsible for organising riots and protests in Delhi, the chargesheet said. Several CCTV cameras were found installed in his house-cum-office and four DVRs (digital video recorder) were also recovered from there.
But according to the Forensic Science Laboratory, no recording from February 23 to February 28, 2020 could be found on any DVR, it further said.
"It means there was no data recorded either because the CCTVs were switched off or they were not in working condition. There is no recording of persons visiting him in his office or house prior to the commencement of riots/during the riots, as if he did not wish the events to be recorded," the chargesheet said.
"Absence of any recording in the DVRs proves that he deliberately did it to hide his activities prior to and during the riots," it added.
The chargesheet further said that photos and videos obtained from two separate DVDs were analysed and it showed the destruction done by rioters at the scene of the crime. It also showed that Hussain’s house was left untouched by the rioters which indicates that the accused was leading and instigating the mob, the chargesheet claimed.
"Recovery of crates containing glass bottles having some liquid filled in them and their necks stuffed with pieces of cloth, which were used/ to be used as Molotov cocktails, large number of bricks and stone pieces and three catapults from the house of accused Tahir Hussain further point towards the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for causing riots in the area," it said.
As per his disclosure statement during police remand, one pistol with extra magazine and 24 live cartridges, one mobile phone were recovered from him on March 7.
On March 11, 40 live cartridges and 22 empty cartridges were also recovered. However, he didn’t give any satisfactory explanation when asked about the empty cartridges, it stated.
“He purchased 100 cartridges on his license but only 64 live cartridges and 22 empty cartridges were recovered. During interrogation, he was unable to give satisfactory reply for the remaining 14 live cartridges and use of 22 empty shells,” mentions the chargesheet.
On the instance of Hussain, two brothers Liyakat Ali and Riyasat Ali were arrested and during interrogation they disclosed their involvement in the riots, the chargesheet said.
The chargesheet further mentioned that Riyasat actively participated in looting and burning of the parking of one Pradeep, who lives adjacent to Hussain and the brothers divided the cash among themselves.
The chargesheet further said, "Pradeep’s parking was inspected by the FSL and crime team. Out of 44 vehicles, 14 were burnt and 18 were damaged. The photos and videos were taken. It showed that Pradeep's parking was being destroyed by the rioters but they left Hussain's place untouched."
"During the course of investigation, Hussain's step brother Shah Alam was arrested along with other accused - Mohd Shadab , Mohd Abid, Rashid Saifi. They all disclosed that they had actively participated in the riots on the directions of Hussain," police said.
Saifi was arrested on February 26 in another case of rioting at Jagatpuri, Shahdara District, police said.
A total of three SITs have been constituted by the crime branch to investigate 59 cases which include murders and some important incidents of riots which occurred in February. Meanwhile, the second chargesheet filed was in connection with the Jafrabad rioting case which happened near Jafrabad Metro station.
According to police, twelve people including Pinjra Tod a activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita were also arrested in this case. They were actively involved in hatching the conspiracy to cause riots near Jafrabad metro station, police said.
They were also part of a larger conspiracy and were found to be connected to the 'India Against Hate’ group and Umar Khalid, police said. One Aman had died due to the gunshot injury in the incident and a total of 35 empty cartridges were recovered from the spot, they said.