The Delhi Police on Wednesday recovered the body of an Intelligence Bureau officer from a drain in North East Delhi’s Chand Bagh locality, where violent clashes between those supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act erupted on Sunday, NDTV reported. At least 27 people have been killed as of Wednesday and another 180 were injured in the violence.
The victim, identified as Ankit Sharma, was returning home on Tuesday evening when a mob stoned and beat him to death, according to the Hindustan Times. His body was later thrown into a drain near the Chand Bagh bridge. Sharma worked as a security assistant with the Intelligence Bureau. His body has been sent for autopsy.
His father Ravinder Sharma, who also works with the Intelligence Bureau, alleged that his son was shot after he was brutally thrashed. He also accused supporters of an unidentified Aam Aadmi Party leader of carrying out the murder, NDTV reported.
Ravinder Sharma said his son went out at 5.30 pm on Tuesday to assess the situation outside, PTI reported. “When he didn’t return, we started looking for him,” he said. “We also went to the GTB and Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospitals to check whether he was admitted, but could not find him. We kept searching him till 3 am on Wednesday.” Ravinder Sharma said the family was told of his son’s death at 10 am.
Ankit Sharma’s brother Ankur Sharma said some women from their colony informed them in the morning that they saw people throwing his brother in the drain. “When the persons saw the women, they threatened them with dire consequences if they revealed about it to anyone,” Ankur Sharma alleged. “He sustained several stab wounds before being dumped into the drain.”
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed concern over the death of the officer, calling it “very unfortunate”. The court also directed highest functionaries in Delhi, and the Centre to personally meet the victims and the families of those who were killed in the clashes.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Ankit Sharma’s death a “tragic loss of life.” “The culprits must not be spared. 20 people have already lost their lives. So painful to watch people of Delhi suffering,” he tweeted. “Praying that we recover from this tragedy soon and work together to undo damage done to people and [the] communities.”
Kejriwal said the situation was alarming and that the Army should be called in as the police were unable to handle it. But NSA Ajit Doval said there were enough forces on the ground and that people must trust in the Delhi Police’s capabilities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first reaction to the violence that began on Sunday, appealed for peace and calm in the Capital. He said he has reviewed the situation and that security forces have been working towards ensuring “normalcy”.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday heard a plea on the violence and said that it could not let riots similar to the anti-Sikh violence in 1984 happen again. The court has ordered security for citizens.