Rape-Accused On Bail Shoots Dead Brother Of Survivor; Communal Tension In Delhi’s Sultanpuri
The accused, Mohammad Irfan, is said to be the head of the minority wing of Aam Aadmi Party’s Sultanpuri unit.
Amid a seemingly coordinated online campaign by prominent Muslim handles and groups claiming a ‘Muslim genocide’ in India, comes a chilling case from New Delhi that not only rips apart the propaganda but also serves as a reminder of growing aggression in the Muslim community.
Two brothers, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Shaan, on Monday shot dead their neighbour Heera in what the victim's family says is an act of revenge against a police case filed against Irfan by them.
In September, Heera’s 26-year-old sister filed a case of rape against Irfan. He was jailed and granted bail less than a week before committing the murder.
The incident took place in north-west Delhi’s Sultanpuri area.
Heera’s sister Oshi told this correspondent over the phone that Irfan’s is the only Muslim family in their colony that houses Hindu migrants from Gujarat. Like Heera’s family, most are from Vaghri jaati that comes under Socially and Economically Backward Communities (SEBC) category.
Irfan’s family hails from Uttar Pradesh, she said.
Heera was the only male member in the family. Heera’s father died about a decade ago, leaving wife Meera and five children – two sons and three sisters. The elder son died of an illness last year, said Oshi.
Heera ran a small business selling birds. Irfan’s family, on the other hand, is affluent, owns three houses in Sultanpuri and is politically connected.
Irfan, as per locals, is head of minority wing of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party’s Sultanpuri unit. The colony has hoardings mentioning the same, where Irfan’s name is written as Irfan Siddiqui.
Oshi narrated her version of the events that have unfolded since September. Irfan would stalk her younger sister (name withheld for protecting identity). He made physical relations with her. The family married the woman to one Ganesh, who is from their Vaghri community and lives in Raghubir Nagar, about 10 kilometers away.
Irfan continued to stalk the woman and even sent Ganesh their intimate visuals clicked in the past. The marriage fell apart, though not formally. In September, Heera’s family made a trip to Vaishno Devi. Irfan joined them in Jammu without invitation, much to their anger. He forcibly made physical relations with the woman again.
On their return, on behest of Heera, the woman, filed a case of rape against Irfan.
The FIR (number 1058/2021) was filed at Sultanpuri police station under IPC sections 376, 506, 343 and 509.
Irfan was arrested and jailed. He was granted bail by Rohini sessions court on 12 January.
After he was sent to prison, Heera wanted to sell his house and shift to a different locality. With two sisters married, Heera had his mother and the sister who had filed a case against Irfan, to take care of.
“But Irfan did not let us sell the house. Using his influence, he threatened every property dealer in the area against serving us,” she says.
“My sister always feared that Irfan would come out of jail and kill Heera. She was apprehensive about filing the police case against him in the first place. But Heera convinced us that he would shift and the matter would close.”
Oshi says her sister had been trying to get rid of Irfan for long. “When she learnt that Irfan was a criminal sort of man, she distanced herself from him. But he never stopped going after her.”
Oshi says that on the evening of 17 January, Meera was warming herself near an angithi when she heard a commotion. She soon learnt that her own son was involved. She rushed out but could not find Heera.
Neighbours told the family that Irfan and Shaan had taken Heera to a park. Heera’s nephew reached the spot and found his body, ridden with bullets. He brought the body home. Narsingh, a distance relative of Heera who was accompanying him, was shot too.
Heera and Narsingh were taken to Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, where Heera was declared brought dead. Narsingh is reportedly out of danger.
“After shooting dead my brother, Irfan came to our house and charged at us. But neighbours prevented him from harming us, telling him that he had already taken his revenge. Irfan left and fled the spot,” says Oshi.
Irfan and Shaan were held and arrested the same day.
Vijay Maroria, a local resident who said he is member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, told this correspondent that Irfan has eight police cases filed against him at Sultanpuri and Mangolpuri police stations since 2002 and that he deals in illegal weapons.
This correspondent called up Sultanpuri police station, but the person who picked up the call said the station in-charge is not authorized to speak to the media.
Maroria said that heavy police are deployed in Sultanpuri after the incident as residents and Hindu groups are angry with a spate of similar killings.
In Raghubir Nagar, 22-year-old Ankit Saxena was killed by family of his Muslim girlfriend in 2018. In the same area, 21-year-old Dablu Singh was similarly murdered by the family of his Muslim girlfriend after he did not accept their condition of converting to Islam for continuing the relationship. In 2020, Rahul Rajput, a 20-year-old resident of Adarsh Nagar in the same northwest Delhi, was killed by brothers and cousins of his Muslim girlfriend Shehgufa.
Irfan’s family has locked the house and escaped to an unknown location, Oshi said.
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