Police step up security in Mangolpuri as VHP holds protest over youth’s murder

CCTV footage from the locality shows 12 men walking towards Rinku Sharma’s house with lathis. Police said they will make more arrests based on this footage.

A day after the death of 25-year-old Rinku Sharma who, police said, was stabbed to death by four men outside his house in Mangolpuri, police stepped up security in the locality and reiterated that the murder was over an old business rivalry, even as more than 50 members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad held a protest in the area. The VHP claims Sharma was killed as he was involved in Ram Mandir fund collection.

The family of the four arrested accused — Zahid (26), Mehtaab (20), Danish (36) and Islam (45) — were not present at their homes on Friday, while their neighbours refused to comment on the issue. A fifth accused, Tazuddin (30), who worked as a home guard at Mangolpuri police station 10 years ago, was arrested on Friday.

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta, meanwhile, handed Rs 5 lakh to Sharma’s family. Accompanied by MP Hans Raj Hans, he demanded that the Delhi government give compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family. In a statement, AAP said such incidents show that the Union Home Ministry has failed to maintain the law and order situation in Delhi.

Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal reiterated what the area DCP had said a day earlier. “On Wednesday night, some youths from the locality gathered at a restaurant for a birthday party. During the celebrations, a fight broke out between some of them over shutting down of a restaurant. It was an old business rivalry. After the fight, the men left the place and went back. Later in the night, some men gathered outside Sharma’s house and another fight broke out. In that fight, Sharma received stab injuries and died during treatment,” Biswal said.

Asked about allegations of the violence being communal in nature, the PRO said, “The fight started at the party over a business rivalry. But we are talking to the family and looking into the allegations.”

A senior police officer said they have spoken to friends of Sharma as well as the accused, who said they knew each other and ran food joints in close proximity in Rohini, which had led to tensions for a year now.

“The accused are related… Danish and Islam work as tailors,” the officer said.

The food joints shut down a while ago, and the victim’s brother Mannu (19) said Sharma now worked as a lab technician at a hospital.

Mannu, a member of the VHP’s youth wing, claimed his brother was killed because he was actively participating in the Ram Mandir donation drive.

“Last year during Dussehra, the accused were angry over the Ram Mandir event in the locality and threatened us. They live near our house. On Wednesday around 10.30 pm, they came armed with sticks to our house. They thrashed me and my parents. They also tried to set fire to the kitchen cylinder and stabbed my brother in the back. They even thrashed my brother while we were taking him to the hospital,” he alleged. Mannu’s allegations about the argument over last year’s event also find a mention in the FIR.

CCTV footage from the locality shows 12 men walking towards Sharma’s house with lathis. Police said they will make more arrests based on this footage.

Sharma’s mother Radha said, “We don’t have an issue with Muslims here. But I am against Tazuddin’s family, who broke into our house and beat us. I begged them to leave but they were angry, they thrashed us and hurled abuses at Rinku. He was the sole breadwinner. I want police to arrest all of them.”

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