A 25-year old was stabbed to death allegedly by a man known to him and his three friends following an argument at a birthday party in outer Delhi's Mangolpuri late on Wednesday night.
The victim, identified as Rinku Sharma, who is said to be a social activist working with the BJP's Yuva Morcha and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), reportedly succumbed to injuries during treatment.
Police's version of rivalry over eatery business
The police have arrested four people named Zahid, Mehtab, Danish, and Islam for the murder of Sharma and registered a case against them.
Following verification of certain facts, Sudhanshu Dhama, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) said that both the victim and the accused were involved in a heated argument over their eatery business which had to be closed after they started incurring losses.
When Sharma as well as those accused men were attending the birthday party, an argument broke out between them over their food joint in Rohini that was opened last October. They also happened to indulge in slapping and threatening each before leaving the place, the police said.
On Wednesday night, the police further stated that the four men went to Sharma's house where he along with his elder brother were already prepared for a fight and standing outside with sticks. A scuffle broke out between the two sides once again during which Danish stabbed Sharma and fled from the spot.
The victim was then rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead due to excessive bleeding.
Family cites communal tension
However, denying the police reports, the family members of Sharma have alleged that the scuffle between the two parties broke out after their son started collecting donations for the Ram Temple being constructed in Ayodhya and raised slogans of 'Jai Shree Ram'.
Rinku's brother Manu Sharma has also denied reports of owning any food shop. "My brother had gone to a birthday party. He was chased back on his return, dragged outside the house and stabbed. We don't have any food shop. They even fought with us after we went for donation drive for Ram Mandir on August 5," Sharma said.
In support of the deceased's family, the VHP leaders came out in the open claiming that Rinku Sharma was associated with the organisation and was killed because he was collecting donations for Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
"We urge the administration to arrest the culprits without delay and ensure the strictest punishment to them," VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain said.