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'Home Close to Murder Site, So We Left': Kin of Delhi Riot Victim Ankit Sharma

The key accused in IB officer Ankit Sharma's murder was arrested by the Delhi police from Telangana on 10 October.

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“Humaari chaati bhar jaati hai jab bhi hum uss naale ke saamne se guzarte hain jaha Ankit ki body mili thi… Iss liye ab uss area mein nahi rehte (Our heart sinks every time we cross that drain where Ankit’s body was found… That’s why we don’t live in that area now),” said 29-year-old Ankur Sharma, whose brother Ankit, was brutally killed in the riots that rocked northeast Delhi in February 2020.

Ankit was an Intelligence Bureau (IB) security assistant whose body was fished out of the Chand Bagh drain near his house in northeast Delhi’s Khajuri Khas on 26 February, 2020.

As per news reports from 2020, an evening ago, Ankit had stepped out of his house to see why a crowd had gathered in his locality, but he never made it back.

His brother Ankur said, “He had been asked by his superiors to go and assess the situation since incidents were unfolding near our locality.”

As per the post-mortem report, Ankit had received 52 stab wounds, after which he was dumped in the drain.

Over 2.5 years later, on 10 October, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested 34-year-old Munjtajim aka Musa Qureshi, the key accused in the Ankit Sharma murder case from Telangana’s Meerpet.

Three days after the arrest, Ankit’s brother told The Quint, “We want the accused to be hanged… Nobody should have to go through what our family had to.”

The key accused in IB officer Ankit Sharma's murder was arrested by the Delhi police from Telangana on 10 October.

Ankit Sharma's body was pulled out of a drain in Chand Bagh around noon on 26 February 2020, while riots raged in Delhi.

(Photo: PTI)

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The Home They Left Behind

The Sharma family lived in their Khajuri Khas house for 16 years before they left it behind after Ankit’s murder. Ankur, who was given a job by the Delhi government in March this year, said the family now lives elsewhere in the city – an address they do not wish to disclose.

The family has decided to never return to their old home. “There are so many memories of Ankit there. We missed him there every day, so we moved out,” said Ankur.

He said that since the family had lived there for so long, everyone knew Ankit well “and it’s all that the neighbours ever spoke to us about.” Moreover, the house’s proximity to the Chand Bagh drain, from where the IB officer’s body was fished out, was another reason.

“We moved to our relative’s house soon after the murder because my parents were sick… Uss ghar mein bahut yaadein hai (There are plenty memories in that house). Not a day goes by when the family doesn’t remember him,” said Ankur.
The key accused in IB officer Ankit Sharma's murder was arrested by the Delhi police from Telangana on 10 October.

File photo of Ankit Sharma.

(Photo: Eshwar/The Quint)

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'Want Accused To be Hanged'

On 12 October, DCP (Special Cell) PS Kushwah released a statement about the arrest. He said that during the investigation, 10 people were arrested including the-then councillor of the area, Tahir Hussain of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). DCP Kushwah said that the investigation revealed that “Muntajim was also an active member of the riotous mob. He had been evading arrest since February 2020, and a reward of Rs 50,000 was also declared.”

The police claimed that Muntajim was “living in Telangana for the last six months. He used to visit a particular chemist shop in Meerpet’s Gayatri Nagar daily. On 10 October evening, he was spotted going there again and was arrested.”
The key accused in IB officer Ankit Sharma's murder was arrested by the Delhi police from Telangana on 10 October.

Suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain (centre).

(Photo: PTI)

DCP Kushwah alleged that Muntajim – along with two others – murdered Ankit near the Chand Bagh Pulia upon finding him alone there.

Meanwhile, Ankur told The Quint, “They knew my brother was in the police force, he was a government servant… That's why they targeted him and killed him.”

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'Ankit Only Wanted to Serve the Country'

Ankit’s dream was to either join the Indian Army or a police force, and when he did, it was reason enough for a party, said his brother.

"That was in October 2017. We were so happy when he was selected to join the force. We threw a party and invited all our friends and family. Getting a government job was a big achievement in our family,” recalled Ankur.

He said that since the family wasn’t well-off, Ankit’s job helped uplift them. “He was the first person in our family who ever bought a car," added Ankur, who is now the sole earning member of the family.

Over two years after his murder, all that Sharma family wants is justice and that the case be fast-tracked.

“Don't get me wrong, we don't have anything against any religion. We still have Muslim friends. We don't discriminate and never will. But those who did this were vicious people and they need to be aptly punished," Ankur said.

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