After two weeks of Delhi riots, police make first arrest on murder charge

Mohammad Shehnawaz, a 27-year-old resident of Shiv Vihar is arrested for allegedly killing 20-year-old, Dilbur Singh Negi, a sweet shop worker

Delhi riots
The riots in northeast Delhi in February 2020 left at least 53 dead and more than 300 injured. Photo: PTI

Two weeks after the Delhi violence, the police made the first arrest on Saturday (March 8) under the charges of murder and rioting in Northeast Delhi. The police arrested 27-year-old Mohammad Shehnawaz, a resident of Shiv Vihar, for allegedly killing 20-year-old Dilbur Singh Negi who worked at a sweet shop in that area. Negi was killed on February 24 during the riots.

“Multiple eyewitnesses identified him from the scene of the crime on February 24,” said DCP Rajesh Deo of Special Investigation Team (SIT) of crime branch which is probing all the murder cases.

When the riots broke out on February 24, Shehnawaz and other accused allegedly torched some shops near Shiv Vihar Tiraha, said Additional PRO of Delhi Police Anil Mittal.

“Shehnawaz entered a bookstore and a sweets shop godown at Chaman Park in Shiv Vihar and torched both places along with other rioters,” Mittal added. After a body of a person identified as Dilbur Singh Negi was found from the shop on February 26, an official case of murder was registered. Also, both his hands were cut off, Mittal informed.

So far, 690 FIRs have been registered while 2,193 persons have been detained or arrested by the police. Around 53 persons were killed while more than 300 were injured during the riots.

Shehnawaz used to sell tobacco products in the area and has also named a few more people during interrogation, informed one of the senior police officials. However, he (Shehnawaz) assumed that he would not be identified separately as the mob frenzy would save him, but it did not happen, said the police official. Police are also looking into the CCTV footage of the incident as a part of the investigation.

Negi’s charred body was found two days after he went missing after a mob attacked the sweet shop. He worked at Anil Sweets as a waiter and hailed from Pauri, Uttarakhand. He had started working in Delhi only six months ago. His brother, Devender Negi identified him based on the rough idea of his features.

Meanwhile suspended AAP councilor Tahir Hussian has also been arrested two days ago. While his three aides identified as Rizvi, Liyakat and Riyasat too were arrested in case of rioting. Hussain is one of the accused in the murder case of Ankit Sharma, an Intelligence Bureau officer.