“During the investigation, it was found that during peak rioting, a WhatsApp group was created on the intervening night of Feb 25 and 26. This group had 125 members,” the police mentioned in its chargesheet.
According to officers, on February 23, as the situation turned tensed in the area after clashes over CAA, two brothers — Amir Ali (31) and Hashim (19) — went to their maternal home for safety. After two days, their father Babu Khan, a tailor, asked them to return as the situation had apparently become normal.
Both Amir and Hashim reached Gokalpuri area at about 9.30 PM on a motorcycle and asked their brother Sheruddin to come out in the lane, as they were terrified. But they never reached their home.
On February 28, when the family reached Gokalpuri police station, they learnt that Amir and Hashim were killed and their bodies and burnt motorcycle thrown into the Bhagirathi Vihar drain by rioters.
According to the chargesheet one message reads “I just killed two Muslims at around 9 pm in B Vihar…and threw them in the drain…with my team…you know that I am always at the forefront in such acts).
This message was sent at 11.49 PM on 26 February by Ganga Vihar resident Lokesh Solanki alias Rajput on a WhatsApp group called “Kattar Hindut Ekta” referring to the killing of Amir and Hashim.
This was in the middle of the Northeast Delhi riots.
According to police, two active members of the group were arrested and their mobile phone was scanned.
On the basis of eyewitness accounts and technical evidences, police arrested nine people for murdering Hashim, while eleven arrested for killing Amir.
All the accused are presently in judicial custody. Their several bail applications have been rejected.
Nine men are accused of murder and rioting in the three chargesheets — Lokesh Solanki (19), Pankaj Sharma (31), Ankit Chaudary (23), Prince (22), Jatin Sharma (19), Himanshu Thakur (19), Vikas Panchal (20), Rishab Chaudary (20) and Sumit Chaudhary (23).
The chargesheets also shed light on how rioters were actively offering support to each other — in terms of manpower as well as weapons — on the WhatsApp group called ‘Kattar Hindut Ekta’.
These WhatsApp conversations, police noted, “clearly fall in the category of extra-judicial confession”.
According to police, 12 persons from the WhatsApp group have been “examined/joined” the investigation. The chargesheet states that the key accused, Lokesh Solanki, had “deleted all messages and left this group. However, the police had also seized the mobile phone of one Deepak Singh” and confronted Lokesh with the chats.
“On interrogation, he (Lokesh) initially denied that he was a member of ‘Kattar Hindut Ekta’ group, but on sustained interrogation and when confronted with the chat of the group, he admitted that he was a member and admitted to his posts in group,” the chargesheet states.