The Delhi Police on Thursday arrested suspended Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain in connection with the violence in North East district that claimed 47 lives last week, PTI reported. He was arrested after a court rejected his plea to surrender, saying it was not within the purview of its jurisdiction.
Hussain is charged with the murder of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma during violence between supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act in North East Delhi.
The court noted provisions under Section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (ordinary place of inquiry and trial) that states the offence shall be investigated in and heard by the court within whose local jurisdiction the incident occurred.
“In the instant case, the offence has been committed within the jurisdiction of PS [police station] Dayalpur which falls within the jurisdiction of Karkardooma Court,” the judge said. “The reason given in the application...does not justify the conduct of the applicant to choose this forum for seeking the reliefs.”
Lawyer Mukesh Kalia, representing Hussain, said there was a serious concern of threat to the suspended AAP leader’s life. The counsel added that he did not surrender before the Karkardooma district court due to its “charged environment”.
Hussain was being falsely implicated in the case, Kalia added. The suspended AAP councillor’s plea said he would cooperate with the inquiry and wanted to surrender. Following the dismissal of the plea, Delhi Police personnel took him into custody.
District and Sessions Judge Sudhir Kumar Jain had on Wednesday deferred Hussain’s plea seeking anticipatory bail in the case, noting that the copy of the notice regarding his plea was not served to the special investigation team probing incidents of violence in the national Capital.
The Aam Aadmi Party, after first defending Hussain, had suspended him. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore for the deceased officer’s family.
News agency ANI on Tuesday had quoted an unidentified police officer as saying that reports about Hussain being rescued from his house on the intervening night of February 24 and 25 were incorrect. The Delhi Police, in a tweet late on Tuesday, confirmed that these reports were false. Instead, the police said that while Hussain was available at his house that day, he was found to be absconding following Sharma’s murder, which came to light on February 26.
The first information report against Hussain followed multiple videos that emerged online showing people on the roof of a building hurling stones and petrol bombs towards the street below. The building, barely a few metres from where Sharma’s body was recovered, belongs to Hussain, and residents said it functioned as his office. In one of those videos, the councillor can be purportedly seen carrying a stick at one point. However, Hussain released a video later claiming he was innocent.