A 25-year-old man died due to stabbing injuries after a quarrel at a birthday party in outer Delhi’s Mangolpuri area, the police said on Friday. The incident took place on Wednesday night after the accused allegedly got involved in an argument with Rinku Sharma over their eatery business, which was shut due to huge losses.
On Thursday, the police arrested four of the five accused, identified as Nashruddin, Islam, Mehtab, Jahid and Tajuddin. The fifth person was taken into custody on Friday. On the day of the incident, the five men had gone to the victim’s house after the birthday party and stabbed him with a knife. Sharma was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, according to the police.
“We have arrested five accused in the connection with the incident and police are still investigating the matter,” Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police OP Mishra told India Today. The police officer also appealed against spreading rumours related to the case as the “issue is very sensitive”.
Meanwhile, Sharma’s family wrote to the Delhi Police, seeking protection. They claimed that the altercation began about a rally he had organised last year to get funds for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, reported NDTV. They claimed that he was associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Rinku Sharma’s brother Manu Sharma told the news channel that the victim was an active Bajrang Dal worker. The family also claimed that the victim was repeatedly threatened in the past few months.
“On August 5, we had taken out a rally for the construction of the Ram Temple,” Manu Sharma told NDTV. “At that time too, we were harassed. They had threatened us. Then he [Rinku Sharma] was murdered on Wednesday. They used to object to the chanting of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.”
Rinku Sharma’s mother claimed her son was shouting the slogan when he was killed, and alleged there were “30 to 40 people with lathi, sticks and knives”.
On Friday morning, the police tweeted details about the incident and specifically mentioned that any other motive alluded to it was “factually wrong”.
The police’s statement came after Hindutva outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad claimed that Sharma was killed for collecting funds as part of the donation drive for the Ram temple, reported The Indian Express. On Friday morning, at least three topics – “रिंकू शर्मा”, “Bajrang Dal” and “Ram Mandir” – were among the top 20 trends on Twitter in India, as several Hindutva activists peddled the distorted version of the story. Videos were also shared with incorrect facts.
According to the police, both Sharma and the four accused had opened eateries in nearby areas of Rohini, Delhi, in October. However, both had to be closed down due to financial losses. The two parties blamed each other for the losses and often had heated arguments over the matter. On Wednesday, before leaving the birthday party, they slapped and then threatened each other.
Later, the four men went to Sharma’s house, where he and his elder brother were waiting with sticks. A fight ensued and led to the stabbing, the police told PTI.
On the family’s allegations about the motive behind his killing, Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said: “We’re in touch with the family. We’re probing all angles.”