A court in Delhi on Friday sent suspended Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain to seven-day police custody in connection with the alleged killing of Intelligence Bureau staff member Ankit Sharma during the violence in North East Delhi, PTI reported.
Duty Magistrate Rakesh Kumar passed the order after police said Hussain’s custodial interrogation was required to unearth the larger conspiracy in the case. The councillor was produced before the duty magistrate amid tight security and neither the media nor any lawyer, other than those involved in the case, were allowed inside the courtroom.
His lawyer, Mukesh Kalia, argued that he had been falsely implicated in the case and sought protection for his life and property.
On Thursday, Hussain was arrested after the court rejected his plea to surrender, saying the matter did not fall under its jurisdiction. On February 27, the Delhi Police had charged the councillor with murder, rioting and arson during the violence between supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act last month.
Ankit Sharma’s body was found in a drain in Chand Bagh locality. He was returning home on February 25 when he was allegedly stoned and beaten to death.
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.