Tahir Hussain, the man at centre of AAP vs BJP row over Delhi violence
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Tahir Hussain, the man at centre of AAP vs BJP row over Delhi violence

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Tahir Hussain is under fire after allegations that he is involved in the killing of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Ankit Sharma. He has denied the charge.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Tahir Hussain is under fire after allegations that he is involved in the killing of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Ankit Sharma. The 26-year-old IB official’s body was pulled out of a drain on Wednesday in Chand Bagh area in Northeast Delhi, which has seen worst riots in the last two decades.

The drain is close to Hussain’s house and Sharma’s family has blamed him of leading the mob to kill the 26-year-old.

Hussain is the councillor from Ward number 59, Nehru Vihar, which comes under Mustafabad assembly constituency in east Delhi and is about seven kilometres from Chand Bagh. He won the municipal election in 2017.

The 42-year-old was the richest candidate in the ward in 2017 municipal elections as he had declared assets worth Rs 16 crore in the affidavit. Of the 13 affidavits analysed by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), on average, the candidates from Nehru Vihar own Rs 1 crore in net assets.

Hussain had further said in his affidavit that he is a businessman and there are no criminal cases against him.

The AAP leader has denied any involvement in the riots or Sharma’s death. In a Facebook post on Thursday, he said that protesters had broken into his house on February 24, after which he contacted the police and they whisked him and his family away. “The police then took control of the building. When i returned on February 25, the people in the area started raising slogans against me. The police then advised me to leave the area, and I have not ben to that house since then. I don’t know who did what in that house,” Hussain said in the post in Hindi. 

People in the neighbourhood have alleged that Hussain played an active role in the riots that engulfed the area since Sunday. Some unverified videos have gone viral on social media where a man appearing to be Hussain is seen with a stick in his hand, based on which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader Kapil Mishra have upped the ante against AAP.

The AAP leader had released a video earlier on Thursday in which he rejected allegations against him. “These are lies and baseless accusations. For our safety, my family and I had moved away from our home on Monday in police presence,” he said in the video which was released by AAP’s social media head Ankit Lal.

“It is wrong to target me. I and my family have nothing to do with it,” Hussain futher said in the video.

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the party’s stand remains clear that strictest punishment must be taken against anyone associated with spreading violence and added that Hussain has given his statement on the matter.

The violence in Northeast Delhi started after a face-off between pro- and anti-CAA protesters on Sunday and has caused at least 33 deaths, including a Delhi Police Head Constable and an IB staffer.