Jahangirpuri violence: They are framed, say kin, neighbours of five key suspects
The Morning Standard spoke to the family members and neighbours of the five suspects — Ansar Sheikh, Salim Chikna, Imam Sheikh alias Sonu, Dilshad and Aheed.
Published: 22nd April 2022 07:40 AM | Last Updated: 22nd April 2022 07:40 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: Family members and neighbours of the five accused booked under the National Security Act (NSA) for their role in the Jahangirpuri violence have alleged police frame-up, saying they were innocent. The Morning Standard spoke to the family members and neighbours of the five suspects — Ansar Sheikh, Salim Chikna, Imam Sheikh alias Sonu, Dilshad and Aheed.
Salim & Sonu
Their mother Asfiya, 60, said her sons were busy breaking their fast and were preparing for Iftar. “When the riots erupted, I was making sharbat and my sons were preparing to break their fast when rumours started flowing about the Hindu-Muslim fight. Salim went out to see what was happening and Sonu followed him. Sonu got agitated when he saw some men attacking the mosque,” said Asfiya.
She says she has no clue how Sonu was able to get a revolver. “He did not shoot at anyone nor was anyone injured. Despite that, my sons were arrested,” she said. While Sonu had a revolver, Salim was trying to control the agitated men who were throwing stones. Salim is married and has four kids. “He has been involved in fights earlier but he was not doing anything wrong when the riots erupted. He was only trying to control the situation,” said Asfiya.
According to his father Ishaq, the action against Dilshad is “the result of his intervention to keep the situation under control.” “I am responsible for all of this. I was trying to pacify people when the riots broke out on Saturday evening since I am one of the members of the Aman Committee of the area. When the riots broke out, I told Dilshad not to go anywhere,” said Ishaq.
When asked if he knew that Dilshad has been charged under NSA, Ishaq said he has no clue what is being done to him as the police are not letting him meet Dishad.“At 2am, some officers took him away saying that they would make some enquiries and would let him go,” he said. Dilshad, 25, is Ishaq’s eldest son and is married with one daughter. He works with Ishaq at the e-rickshaw parking lot.
Mohammad Ansar Sheikh
As per police, he is one of the key conspirators. His neighbours say he is a ‘mast maula aadmi’ (happy-go-lucky) and has not harmed anyone in the area. “He is a showoff. All the gold chains you saw him wearing in the video clips are fake and the cars with which he was posing were not his,” said a neighbour.
He said Ansar is an opportunist who joins any political party and poses with leaders of the area. Recently some pictures were in circulation showing him wearing a saffron cap and posing along with BJP leaders. However, a picture tweeted by BJP leader Sarika Jain also showed him wearing an AAP cap and supporting the leaders.
His neighbours said Ansar helped people during Covid and distributed ration to the people. “He has a dark past but he cannot be involved in any communal clash or riots,” said a neighbour.
According to his brother Kharudin, Aheed has a calm temperament. “Instead of indulging in fights, he solves them,” says Kharudin. “You can ask anyone in our area about Aheed and no one will say anything bad about him.”
Aheed, 32, is married and has two daughters and one son. He had recently bought a house in a different locality. He supplies water to the people in the area and repairs punctures in tyres. Kharudin said they have nothing against Hindus and their business was mostly with Hindu customers. “That day (April 16) he was trying to resolve a matter. As soon as riots broke out, he shut his shop and tried to intervene in a fight that broke out in front of the mosque.” Kharudin stated that the family do not have enough money to visit him Aheed at Tihar Jail.