How a murder in Mangolpuri became a clash of ‘versions’

Rinku Sharma, a 25-year-old lab technician working with a private hospital, was stabbed to death by some men of the same locality in outer Delhi’s Mangolpuri area late on Wednesday night.

The family members of the victim claim that it was a hate crime and Rinku was murdered because of an old rivalry. Rinku, who was associated with the right wing, was allegedly threatened by the same set of accused during Dussehra last year. However, the police have denied any communal angle to the case, categorically stating that a business rivalry had led to the murder.

“So far during the investigation, it has surfaced that a quarrel started during a birthday party over shutting down of a restaurant. All the persons involved were known to each other and they lived in the same locality. Any other motive alluded to this incident is factually wrong,” said A. Koan, DCP, Outer Delhi.

However, Twitter was soon abuzz with the news and hashtags like ‘Jusice for Rinku Sharma’ started trending with many politicians and activists making a beeline to visit the deceased person’s family.

Posters demanding ‘Justice for Rinku’ were put up on the lanes leading to the deceased person’s house amid heavy police presence. Many politicians also expressed their anguish over the murder.

Delhi BJP President Adesh Gupta on Friday met Rinku’s family and provided an assistance of Rs 5 lakh to them. The BJP leader also demanded that the Delhi government should provide Rs 1 crore to the family. Rakhi Bidlan from the Aam Aadmi Party also met the deceased person’s family members.

Meanwhile, the Delhi police have arrested five accused in connection with the case — Danish, Islam, Zahid, Mehtab and Tajuddin.

A CCTV footage has also come to light where the accused could be seen coming to the house of the deceased on Wednesday night. It is alleged that Rinku was stabbed soon after that.

“They first beat us with sticks and later dragged my brother Rinku out and stabbed him,” said Manu Sharma, brother of the deceased.

The family has also sought protection from the police, which have intensified their presence in the locality as a precautionary measure.

“On February 10, some youth went to a restaurant to celebrate a birthday party. During that time, a scuffle broke out between them over some business rivalry related to the shutting down of a restaurant. After that some boys involved in the fight reached Rinku’s house and stabbed him,” Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal said.

On being asked about the family’s claims that it was a hate crime and Rinku was murdered for allegedly chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, the police officer said, “We are in touch with the victim’s family, but the investigation suggests that the scuffle started during the birthday party.”