Saturday 28 January 2023
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PoliticsIndiaJahangirpuri rioter Ansar funded by hawala money: Delhi Police

Jahangirpuri rioter Ansar funded by hawala money: Delhi Police

Jahangirpuri houses thousands of Bangladeshi refugees; given the timing and place of the riot, the police are not ruling out the existence of a wider racket

Delhi today wrote to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), seeking an investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) into the sources of the properties of the main alleged conspirator, Ansar Sheikh, of the Muslim attack on Hindus in Jahangirpuri. A crime branch officer assigned to probe the violence said the 38-year-old man has been allegedly receiving money from abroad.

“He reportedly owns a big mansion in Haldia [West Bengal] and does a lot of charity for his community. We suspect he frequently receives money via shady channels to use it in creating communal disturbances in the national capital,” the officer said, requesting anonymity.

“We are also looking into this iron scrap dealer’s links with terrorists and illegal Bangladeshi migrants as he reportedly has deep-rooted connections with people of Bangladesh, Assam, and Haldia,” the officer said.

Defying the claims of a large section of the opposition that Bangladeshi infiltration is a hoax, the officer said, “Jahangirpuri houses thousands of Bangladeshi refugees. Taking cognisance of the timing and place of occurrence [of the violence], we cannot rule out his links with anti-national elements.”

The officer of Delhi said movements and phone calls of Sheikh were being examined. “We are examining the phone calls made by him a few weeks before the communal violence erupted. It will give us a clear picture of who was in regular contact with Ansar.”

The cops have so far arrested 25 suspects and apprehended three minors. “As many as 27 more suspects have been identified and they will be arrested soon. Four of them have been found involved in the crime. Right now, we are keeping a close tab as their activities and movements can provide a major breakthrough in the case. One of the prime accused is being interrogated.”

The crime branch has been collecting digital evidence from the scene of the violence and undertaking a forensic probe. It is also looking into the timing of the incident. “As per the locals, the procession of Ram Navami taken out through the same route did not result in a brawl… two Hanuman Jayanti processions [before the violence was triggered during the third one] passed through the same route peacefully.” The officer said they are trying to find out the reason why the violence erupted.

Jahangirpuri rioter linked to Trinamool Congress?

Trinamool Congress councillor from Haldia Municipality, Ajijul (Aziz ur) Rahman, whose photo with the Jahangirpuri violence accused Ansar had gone viral, has said that it was indeed his image in the photograph but he had not been in touch with Ansar for over two years.

“That picture is from Delhi near Jama Masjid clicked in 2019. I was a councillor even then. I met Ansar in Haldia before that when he was here for Eid. We are public representatives, people take photographs with us,” Rahman said.

“If political opponents slam me over this picture, I want to ask about Modi’s picture with Nirav Modi and Suvendu Adhikari’s picture with accused Saddam. Do they prove anything,” he asked.

“Ansar invited me to his house for lunch during my Delhi trip in 2019. My sons were there. His family was there. That picture was taken after lunch,” the Trinamool Congress councillor said.

Rahman said: “Ansar’s in-laws live 5 km away from Haldia. I’m the local councillor. So, he introduced himself to me. How can I know who is doing what in a different city? I came to know of his alleged involvement in the Jahangirpuri violence when the media reported it. I am not aware who Salim Chikna and are.”

The Trinamool Congress councillor said further that he had met Ansar last on Eid three years ago. “I don’t know if he had come to Bengal during the 2021 assembly elections. Ansar doesn’t stay here. How would he be in the Trinamool Congress?” he asked.

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