Delhi Police Special Cell officers with Salman, who was arrested in connection with the murder of IB officer Ankit Sharma. (Express photograph by Tashi Tobgyal)
The Delhi Police Special Cell Thursday arrested a resident of Nand Nagri in connection with the murder of Intelligence Bureau staffer Ankit Sharma last month. According to sources, the accused, Salman alias Haseen, has been on the police radar for his alleged connection with a criminal from Northeast Delhi — and it was while intercepting the latter’s calls that police chanced on Salman’s alleged link to the murder.
“Salman works as a logistics provider for the alleged criminal... we intercepted their phone calls and put Salman’s number under technical surveillance as well. In a phone call to his elder brother and sister-in-law, which was intercepted, Salman allegedly spoke about how he and a mob killed a man,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
During his conversation, sources said, Salman allegedly disclosed that he was at Sadar Bazar on February 23 when he received WhatsApp messages that violence had broken out in Northeast Delhi and one man had been killed.
“Some of the messages asked people to head to Chand Bagh. He and his friend took a bus to Khajuri Khas Chowk and headed to Chand Bagh where some of his friends live. He stayed the night with them,” claimed the officer.
The officer claimed that Salman, during the phone conversations, said he pelted stones from a building on February 24.
“Salman said that on February 25, people of both communities were attacking each other in Chand Bagh," claimed the officer, adding that the phone conversation revealed he and a mob caught hold of Ankit on seeing him, took him to a house, stabbed him to death and dumped his naked body in a drain.
Sources said that after intercepting his calls, police corroborated the sequence of events that led to Sharma’s murder. Police are conducting raids to nab his four associates.
Ankit’s father Ravinder Sharma, in his complaint to police, had alleged that suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain had assembled goons at his residence who fired guns and threw petrol bombs from the rooftop.
Ankit’s body was found dumped in a drain in Chand Bagh on February 26. A day later, based on Ravinder’s complaint, Delhi Police filed an FIR against Hussain on charges of murder, destruction of evidence and abduction. Hussain was later arrested.
“On February 25, Ankit came home but left around 5 pm to buy groceries. When he didn't return, we started looking for him at different police stations and hospitals. We couldn’t find him and filed a missing report. Later, a neighbour told me he saw Ankit with a friend. We went to his place and asked about Ankit. He told us there were rumours that a man was beaten to death near Chand Bagh bridge and his
body dumped in a drain,” wrote Ravinder in the complaint.
Police were informed and local divers were deployed to find the body. They pulled out a body that was identified by Ankit’s family.