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Brothers held for killing aged lady in riot

Arun, 26, and Varun, 22, are residents of the same neighbourhood in Gamri Extension
Rioters set ablaze a shop in northeast Delhi.

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui   |   New Delhi   |   Published 12.03.20, 09:31 PM

Two brothers have been arrested for the murder of an 85-year-old woman, Akbari, who died inside her home after a mob torched her family’s four-storey house during the riots in northeast Delhi on February 25, police said on Thursday.

Arun, 26, and Varun, 22, are residents of the same neighbourhood in Gamri Extension. “They are being questioned about the other rioters, and more arrests are likely,” an officer said.

While the rest of the attacked family survived by running up to the terrace, Akbari, hobbled by old age, was trapped inside her second-floor room and died of suffocation, the officer said.

When fire-fighters found her body 10 hours later — around 9.30pm — after the fire was contained, there were burn marks on her hands, he added.

The 10-member family lived on the second and third floors while they ran a garment workshop from the lower two stories. The 100-strong mob first set fire to the ground and first floors around 11am before climbing the stairs to torch the second and third floors, the officer said.

“Akbari’s son Mohammed Saeed Salmani had stepped out to buy milk when he received a call from his son Asif, who said a large mob had gathered outside their home. The crowd broke the lock and torched the house,” he said.

Salmani’s family members and his 10 employees rushed to the terrace to save themselves. They were later rescued with the help of the police and neighbours.

“The crowd looted Rs 8 lakh in cash, a box containing gold and silver jewellery, and other valuables after breaking open the cabinet safe,” the officer said.

The police zeroed in on Arun and Varun on the basis of video clippings, and eyewitnesses too have identified them, the officer said.

On Thursday, the police released the names of seven people arrested in connection with the murder of head constable Ratan Lal during the violence.

“It emerged during the investigation that the spot where the incident took place was the venue for an anti-CAA protest. A conspiracy had been hatched to attack the police. Lal died of bullet injuries,” a senior officer said.

The seven accused are: Saleem Malik, 38, Jalaluddin, 33, Ayub, 35, Yunus, 32, Mustaq, 27, Danish, 23, and Saleem Khan, 46 — all residents of Chand Bagh in northeast Delhi.

A man identified as Salman alias Nanhe has been picked up in connection with the murder of Intelligence Bureau employee Ankit Sharma during the riots.

Sharma’s body was found in a drain near his home in Chand Bagh on February 27, a day after he went missing. The police have already arrested the suspended Aam Aadmi Party councillor, Tahir Hussain, in the case.

Four men — Pankaj Sharma, Lokesh, Ankit and Sumit — have been arrested in connection with the murder of a man named Musharraf, who was allegedly dragged out of his home and thrashed by a mob near Gokulpuri. His body was later dumped in a drain.

Musharraf is survived by wife Malika and their three children.


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