Just five minutes from home, brothers Hashim Ali (19) and Amir Khan (30) made frantic calls to their family between 9 and 9.30 pm on February 26, saying they were afraid because a mob had gathered outside, targeting Muslims. By 10 pm, their phones were switched off.
Bodies of the two were among nine victims fished out from a drain during the February riots in Northeast Delhi. The brothers’ last hour is detailed in a chargesheet filed by Delhi Police at Karkardooma court on June 4, based on a statement recorded by their father Babu Khan.
The siblings were staying at a relative’s house in Ghaziabad and decided to return home to Northeast Delhi on February 26 after they heard that the “situation had improved in the area”.
Multiple phone calls were made by Hashim to his younger brother Nasir Ali’s two phones between 9 and 9:30 pm, Babu wrote in his statement to police.
“Hashim Ali told him that they have reached near Gokulpuri ganda nala puliya, and will reach within five minutes, but they were very scared as the crowd was gathering on the road and were killing Muslim people after checking their identities. He also asked them (his family members) to meet outside the gate. They were very fearful. Thereafter, around 10 pm, the family again tried to call Hashim and Amir but their mobile phones were switched off. They called several mobile phones to locate both their sons, but could not find them. This fact was also corroborated with the call detail record of Hashim,” the chargesheet states.
On February 28, Babu visited Gokulpuri police station at 9 am for help in tracing his sons. Their search ended when ASI Ram Dass took them to the GTB hospital mortuary, where Babu identified the two bodies. The police chargesheet states that the brothers were killed by a mob, which dumped their bodies in the Bhagirathi Vihar nala. Their Apache motorcycle was burnt to destroy evidence.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, who is representing Babu, said, “Police have all manner of evidence, including WhatsApp chats. They have arrested only the foot soldiers. Police must investigate CDR of all these persons to find out who was pulling the strings.”
Police have so far chargesheeted 11 persons in the case for the murders of nine Muslim men, including the brothers. Police have stated that the accused were “seething with anger as many stories/news of Hindus being targeted by Muslims” were circulating. The accused conspired to kill Muslim men on a WhatsApp group called Kattar Hindut Ekta, which had at least 125 members.
As reported by The Indian Express, police have largely relied on the statement of an eyewitness who was around the spot searching for his lost bike. Based on his statement, the chargesheet states: “The mob stopped two persons riding an Apache motorcycle on which Hashim Ali and Amir Khan were riding. The mob, after establishing their Muslim identity, killed both with stones, cudgel, sticks, swords and iron rods.”
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