Delhi riots 2020: Man arrested over head constable Ratan Lal’s killing

The accused was into the business of construction and property dealing.

New Delhi: A 53-year-old man was arrested for his alleged involvement in the killing of Delhi Police Head Constable Ratan Lal during the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, officials said on Wednesday.

Accused Mohd. Ayaz, resident of Chand Bagh in Karawal Nagar, was apprehended from a village in Chikkaballapur district near Bengaluru, Karnataka on June 17, they said.

Police said Ayaz was one of the main conspirators involved in the killing and was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his arrest. He had been absconding more than three years since the incident and was declared proclaimed offender in the case.

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The accused was into the business of construction and property dealing. He along with his brother Khalid actively participated in anti-CAA-NRC sit-in protest at Chand Bagh.

Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) H G S Dhaliwal said that in January 2020, accused Mohd Ayaz along with his brother Khalid and others started anti-CAA-NRC protest at Chand Bagh in line of Shaheen Bagh demonstration.

“During the northeast riots, a huge mob gathered at the Chand Bagh protest site on February 24, 2020 and attempted to block the main Wazirabad Road. However, when the police team tried to stop them, the accused, his brother Khalid and other rioters started pelting stones and attacked the police party causing death of Delhi Police Head Constable Ratan Lal and grievous injuries to many other police officers and personnel. A case was registered at Dayalpur police station in this regard, which is being investigated by Crime Branch of Delhi Police,” he said.

“It has been revealed that the secret meetings, in which the conspiracy of the riots was planned, would take place in the basement of Shazia Bakery, owned by Ayaz and his family. Thereafter, when the violence erupted in North-East Delhi on February 24, he along with his brother Khalid and other rioters violently attacked a police party, in which HC Ratan Lal was killed and the then ACP Gokulpuri Anuj Kumar and DCP Shahdara Amit Sharma sustained grievous injuries,” he added.

Accused Mohd. Ayaz and Khalid had been absconding and evading their arrest in this case for last three years, police said.

“A keen watch was being kept over the close contacts of accused Mohd Ayaz and his brother Khalid. The technical and manual surveillance revealed that the two brothers were changing their hideouts frequently. Later, we got information that both of them had moved to rural areas in Manipur to evade their arrest,” he added.

“After continuous technical and manual surveillance, it came out that Mohd Ayaz had moved to Bengaluru in the first week of June 2023. It was further revealed that he was in search of a suitable hideout in the rural area of Dhiburahalli, around 100 km from Bengaluru. Following the trail, a team of Special Cell reached Bengaluru and located him in Dhiburahalli, Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka from where he was finally apprehended,” the senior police officer said.

The northeast Delhi riots which started on February 24, 2020 and continued till February 26, 2020 resulted in death of more than 50 people and caused injuries to over 200. More than 750 cases were lodged at different police stations of Shahdara and North-East districts of Delhi in this regard, police said.

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