Mangolpuri murder: Delhi Police arrests fifth accused

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) The Delhi Police has arrested the fifth accused in the killing of 25-year-old Rinku Sharma allegedly by a group of men following a quarrel at a birthday party in outer Delhi's Mangolapuri area, police said.

Sharma's brother Mannu (19), however, alleged that Rinku was killed as he was actively participating in the donation drive for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

However, the Delhi Police denied any communal angle to the murder and said the fight at a birthday party took place over a business rivalry.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta also met the family of Sharma on Friday to provide an assistance of Rs 5 lakh to them and claimed the victim was also associated with collecting contributions for the construction of Ram temple.

Saffron outfits including Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have claimed that Sharma was killed due to his involvement in collection of donation for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya.

The fifth accused has been identified as Tazuddin (29) who worked as a home guard earlier, police said.

Tazuddin's arrest comes a day after four other men -- Zahid, Mehtab, Danish and Islam -- were arrested. All of them are related to each other, police said.

Police said a CCTV footage of the incident showed a group of men walking towards the victim's house with sticks.

The deceased worked as a lab technician and since the incident, police personnel have been deployed in the locality to avoid any untoward incident.

Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police (PRO) said on February 10, some youth of a locality gathered at a restaurant in Mangolpuri area for a birthday party.

During the celebrations, a fight broke out among the youth in connection with shutting down a restaurant. It was an old business rivalry. After the fight, they left the place and went back to their houses, he said.

'Following the incident at the birthday party, some men, who were part of the celebration, gathered outside Sharma's house and another fight took place again during which Sharma received stab injuries. He was taken to a hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries,” he said.

Denying allegations of any communal angle to the incident, Biswal said, 'So far what has emerged from the investigation is that the fight began at a birthday party over business rivalry and this led to stabbing of Sharma. But we are talking to the family and looking into allegations.' Sharma was stabbed to death on Wednesday night.

According to the police, on Wednesday night, when both the victim and the accused men were attending the birthday party, an argument broke out between them over their food joints in Rohini. They also slapped and threatened each other at the party following which they left. The two parties had similar tussles over the same issue sometime back as well, police said.

Later, the four men went to Sharma's house where the victim along with his elder brother were already standing outside with sticks. A scuffle broke out between the two sides again during which the accused stabbed Sharma and fled from the spot, a senior police officer had said on Thursday.

Mannu, however, said his brother was killed because he was actively participating in Ram Mandir donation drive.

'My brother was actively participating in the donation drive. Last year during Dussehra, the men were angry over the Ram Mandir event in the locality and threatened us. On Wednesday night, they came to our house with sticks and thrashed me and my parents. They also tried to set the kitchen cylinder on fire and stabbed my brother in the back with the knife,' he said.

He added that his family always shared good relationship with neighbours and that his brother Rinku had even donated blood to one of the family members of the accused when she was pregnant.

The police have maintained that both the parties had a rivalry over their eatery business which ran into losses and had to be shut down. PTI AMP TDS TDS