The Delhi Police has arrested three more people in connection with the communal clashes in Jahangirpuri, including a key "conspirator and executor" who was nabbed from West Bengal, officials said on Thursday. With the latest arrests, a total of 30 people, including three juveniles, have been held in the case so far.
Mohd. Farid alias Neetu (35), one of the "most wanted accused" in the case, was arrested from his aunt's house in Tamluk in East Medinipur district in West Bengal, they said. The other two -- identified as brothers Jaffar (34) and Babuddin alias Babu (43) -- were arrested from Jahangirpuri on Wednesday by the Delhi Police's Crime Branch which is probing the case, they said. The brothers run a biryani shop in the area.
Police said an analysis of CCTV footage revealed that Farid, along with his associate Md. Ansar, played a "very active and aggressive role in instigating riots" but whether he had opened fire or not is part of investigation being done by the Crime Branch with assistance from the Special Cell and the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operation Unit (IFSO) of the force.
According to the police, a non-bailable warrant had also been issued by a Delhi court against Farid who first hid his family in an isolated place and then fled to West Bengal within a span of two-three days after the violence earlier this month. He had been constantly switching off his phone and changing locations across West Bengal.
"A team of Special Cell Northern Range had been roped in for identification and apprehension of the culprits involved. The team was following movement of...Mohd. Farid, who is an active "bad character" of Jahangirpuri area. He is one of the prime conspirators and executors along with arrested Mohd. Ansar. The team was chasing him since last two weeks and raided a number of hideouts in western Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal," said Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).
"On some occasions, he narrowly escaped but the team kept tracking him and remained stationed in West Bengal. On Thursday, our teams located Farid and apprehended him from his aunt's house.... Further investigation has been taken up by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police," he said.
Farid has six cases registered against him, including that of robbery, snatching, burglary and under the Arms Act, since 2010, he added. Both Jaffar and Babuddin were also found to be "actively involved in rioting", the police said.
"While scanning through footage of multiple CCTV cameras and mobile videos, Jaffar was seen roaming around with the crowd with a sword during the violence. Babuddin was found to be instigating the crowd during the violence. Both of them have been arrested based on digital evidence and technical surveillance," a senior police officer said.
Analysing the digital evidence of the day the violence unfolded, police identified the culprits and used its technical surveillance to locate and catch hold of them.
Clashes broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in Jahangirpuri in the national capital on April 16, leaving eight police personnel and a local resident injured. According to the police, there was stone pelting and arson during the clashes and some vehicles were also torched. Days after the violence, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had written to the Enforcement Directorate to investigate money laundering charges against the prime accused in the case.
The police have slapped the stringent National Security Act against five of the accused in the case. Giving the sequence of events in one of the CCTV footage, a police source told PTI that at 6:23 pm, stones were being pelted on the procession.
At 6:27 pm, a man was seen with four-five swords. At 7:01 pm, a group of people alerted a mob about a CCTV camera, following which they changed its direction. "Sonu alias Imam and Saleem Chikna who are in police custody were seen going towards Kushal Cinema. Sonu was seen taking out pistol from his pocket and running towards Kushal Cinema during the violence," the source added.
-With PTI Input