India

BJP Worker Murdered After Birthday Party, Family Alleges Communal Angle

BJP Worker Murdered After Birthday Party, Family Alleges Communal Angle

Rinku Sharma, 25, was murdered on Wednesday night.

New Delhi:

A 25-year-old BJP worker was stabbed to death in Delhi on Wednesday night after an argument at a birthday party. The family of Rohit Sharma, also known as Rinku Sharma, has alleged a communal motive to his murder, but the police deny it, saying that it is inquiring into all angles.

All four accused - Zahid, Mehtab, Danish and Islam - were arrested on Thursday and charged with murder, the police said.

The police said Rinku Sharma had gone to his friend Babu's birthday party near his home in Mangolpuri in outer Delhi. The four accused too had attended the party. All of them knew each other. An argument and a fight broke out at the party, after which Rinku Sharma went home. The four men followed him and attacked him with a knife, stabbing him in his back, the police said.

In CCTV footage of the fight that broke out near his home, people armed with lathi and sticks can be seen.

"So far, during the investigation, it has surfaced that the quarrel started during a birthday party over the shutdown of a restaurant because of funds," the police said.

But Rinku Sharma's family alleges the fight erupted over a rally he had organized last year to raise donations for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. He was associated with both the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), they said.

Rinku Sharma's brother Manu Sharma said he was a member of the Bajrang Dal, a rightwing outfit. "On August 5, we had taken out a rally for the construction of the Ram Temple. At that time too, we were harassed. They had threatened us. Then he (Rinku Sharma) was murdered on Wednesday. They used to object to the chanting of 'Jai Shri Ram'," he said.

Newsbeep

"My son was linked to the Bajrang Dal and so, he was repeatedly threatened," his father Ajay Sharma said.

After he was attacked on Wednesday night, Rinku Sharma was taken to hospital, where he died.

"When my son was being killed, at that time too, he was chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'," his mother said, alleging that there were "30 to 40 people with lathi, sticks and knives".

Security has been increased in the area after the murder.

The Delhi Police denied any communal link to the murder and said all five knew each other.

"Any other motive alluding to this incident is factually wrong," Sudhanshu Dhama, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer), told news agency ANI.

When asked about Mr Sharma's family's claims that he was murdered after he chanted "Jai Shri Ram", Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal told reporters, "We're in touch with the family. We're probing all angles."