Rinku Sharma

Melbourne, February 15: The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in India has claimed that 25-year-old Rinku Sharma was stabbed to death in India’s capital city, Delhi; for being part of a donation drive for the Ram Mandir construction in Ayodhya, in India.

The murder case has now been transferred to Crime Branch. “Mangolpuri murder case transferred to Crime Branch,” the police said in a statement.

While Delhi police have maintained that the murder was the fallout of a food business rivalry, it has now been revealed by Sharma’s friends that Rinku Sharma was not connected in any way with the said rivalry or the food business – that happened to be amongst two other people, Sachin and Suraj.

Rinku Sharma was BJP’s Yuva Morcha worker and member of VHP, who was allegedly stabbed to death by neighbours in Delhi’s Mangolpuri area, over a suspected communal angle behind the murder.

Rinku Sharma NEITHER involved in any fights, NOR involved in any business

Rinku Sharmed worked as a lab technician at a private hospital in Delhi.

India Today spoke to Sharma’s friends Babu, Akash and Sachin, Saturday, about the events of the night that led to the killing of the 25-year-old.

“My birthday was on February 9 and I threw a party for my friends on the 10th. Rinku, Sachin, Akash, Sandeep, Golu and Zahid attended this party. Suraj said that he would bring Chingu (Zahid) along,” Babu Said.

He added that a fight broke out at the party.

“At the party, suddenly a fight broke out between Sachin and Zahid and they slapped each other. I was speaking to Akash at the time and then Suraj also slapped Sachin. I immediately sent Sachin home.”

Meanwhile Rinku was only sitting beside Akash “the whole time. Akash, Rahul and I were talking to Rinku when suddenly there was a commotion on the street and Rahul left.

As soon as Rinku was stabbed, I ran home. I don’t know what happened after this,” said Babu.

Akash also more or less confirmed Babu’s account of Rinku not being part of any fights.

He added that the friends were at a restaurant when the fight broke out between Sachin and Zahid.

“It was my friend’s party and we had ordered food at a restaurant. At around 9-9.30pm two of our friends had left for home. Then an argument broke out between Sachin and Zahid and they got violent with each other. Then the manager of the restaurant sent us outside,” said Akash.

“All of us including Rinku were on our way home when Babu said that he will cut the cake at his home. However, Rinku said that he wants to go home.

“That is when we heard a commotion and we saw people were attacking Rinku’s house with sticks. There was a huge crowd and then someone shouted that Rinku has been stabbed.

“We rushed him to Sanjay Gandhi hospital.

Zahid’s uncle Tasuddin also came to the hospital and misbehaved with me.

“Rinku had nothing to do with it. He wanted to go home,” said Akash.

Sachin, who had a verbal fight with Zahid at the party, claimed that 10-12 men had barged into his house, but he had called 100 immediately and thus, got saved.

Sachin revealed that they fought over curse words that were said to him.

“All of us were hanging out when suddenly Zahid started cursing me.

“At least 10-12 men came to my home after which I dialed 100 to inform the police.

CCTV footage from Mongolpuri, where Rinku Sharma was stabbed to death
CCTV footage from Mongolpuri, where Rinku Sharma was stabbed to death

Suraj (who was also at the party) and I are not on talking terms and Zahid thought I am talking to him. I had opened a restaurant in Sector 2, Rohini and then Suraj also opened his shop nearby after which we stopped talking to each other,” he said.

Sachin added, “Akash and others were talking to me when Zahid got up and Suraj pushed me. Then I slapped him and then he hit me back. The fight was over the curse words.”

Sachin’s account clarifies that the fight was over curse words used against each other by friends who had not been talking to each other.

By the above accounts, it can also be clarified that Rinku Sharma was NEITHER involved in any fights whatsoever, NOR the restaurant business issue had anything to do with Rinku Sharma.

Meanwhile, the murder case has, been transferred to Crime Branch, as Delhi Police Saturday sent a Forensic Science Lab team to Mangolpuri, the scene where Sharma was stabbed to death on Wednesday night.

Five men — Zahid (26), Mehtaab (20), Danish (36), Islam (45) and Tazuddin (30) — have been arrested from the same locality.

According to police, Tazuddin used to work as a home guard at a police station 10 years ago, while Danish and Islam worked as tailors. All of them are related to each other, police said.

There has an increased police deployment in the area, with families of the accused fearing retribution.

Personnel keep vigil in Mongolpuri where Rinku Sharma was stabbed to death
Personnel keep vigil in Mongolpuri where Rinku Sharma was stabbed to death

Every evening, personnel from local police and paramilitary keeps vigil at Mangolpuri. The VHP continues to hold protests in the area, with a prayer meeting having been held on Sunday.

VHP have claimed that Rinku Sharma was killed due to his involvement in the collection of donation for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya.

He was killed because he actively participated in the donation drive,” said Vinod Bansal, VHP, national spokesperson.

“We urge the administration to arrest the culprits without delay and ensure the strictest punishment to them,” said VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta also met the family of Sharma on Friday to provide an assistance of Rs 500,000 to them and claimed the victim was also associated with collecting contributions for the construction of Ram temple.

However, the Delhi Police still deny any communal angle to the murder and said the fight at a birthday party took place over a business rivalry. They, however, said that these facts are being verified.

Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal said they are “looking into all angles and probing the matter”.

A senior police officer said that the accused went to Rinku Sharma’s house and a scuffle broke out, during which the accused stabbed Sharma and fled from the spot. The victim was then rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Police are expected to make more arrests based on CCTV footage from the locality, which shows 12 men walking towards Sharma’s house with lathis.

“Rinku Sharma died for hailing Jai Shri Ram

Zee TV in a coverage showed Rinku Sharma’s family and neighbours saying that the accused allegedly banged on Sharma’s door, entered the house and tried to burn up the whole house with a gas cylinder, taken from the Sharma family’s kitchen.

When the Sharma’s mother stood in the way, they ran after Rinku Sharma on to the streets and stabbed him on the back.

Rinku Sharma_ in Emergency
Rinku Sharma in Hospital Emergency with dagger protruding from his back (right) 

“Rinku just hailed ‘Jai Shri Ram’ before dying,” Rinku’s mother narrated to Aman Chopra of Taal Thok Ke, a programme aired by Zee TV.

“He was killed for collecting donations and hailing Jai Shri Ram”, she added.

The family added that Rinku had mentioned that the Muslim mob had been harassing Rinku for almost 6 months after he had celebrated the Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Mandir.

The victim’s younger brother Mannu Sharma (19), who is a member of the VHP’s youth wing, said to Indian Express: “In August, we organised a small event for Ram Mandir. They were angered by this but we ignored them.

He said Rinku only worked as a lab technician and that “we have no eatery business”.

A neighbour told Zee TV, one of “them even went to the Hospital Emergency and pushed the dagger further into Rinku Sharma’s back with their foot”.

Altruistic Rinku Sharma

Sharma has been described as a ‘generous and alruistic’ by people in his neighbourhood.

Noteworthy, Rinku Sharma is said to have donated blood to one of the accused’ wife, twice, when she was unwell and in the hospital.

“We have always been good neighbours; Rinku even donated blood to one of their family members when she was pregnant,” said younger brother Mannu Sharma.

In a farfetched position, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj demanded the Home Minister’s resignation and said that earlier only Muslims used to feel threatened under the BJP, but now Dalits, Sikhs and Hindus too feel scared.

In retaliation, the BJP, questioned the “silence” of the Chief Minister, with Delhi unit spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor saying: “AAP leadership first tries to ignore such murders or communal riots killings by minority community youths but then mildly condemns.”

BJP’s Shobha Karandlaje in a tweet said:

“A peaceful group walks into the house of #RinkuSharma & stabs him to death, his mistake is that he was collecting donations for #RamMandir. Does the Lutyens ecosystem has the courage to question this lynching? Will the award wapsi group condemn this brutality? #JusticeForRinkuSharma”

Also read: Deciphering the Politics behind the Farmer’s protest in India

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