Rinku Sharma murder case: 4 held, cops say business rivalry; VHP claims he was killed for collecting funds for Ram temple

While police said the argument was over a food business rivalry, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), which is running a Ram Mandir donation drive in the capital, claimed Sharma was killed for collecting funds for the temple.

A 25-year-old man was stabbed to death, allegedly by four men, outside his house in Mangolpuri on Wednesday night. Police said the victim, Rinku Sharma, got into an argument with the accused at a birthday party, and they later went to his house and allegedly stabbed him.

While police said the argument was over a food business rivalry, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), which is running a Ram Mandir donation drive in the capital, claimed Sharma was killed for collecting funds for the temple.

Police said the four accused — Zahid, Mehtaab, Danish and Islam — have been arrested.

According to police, Sharma and his friends as well as the accused had opened eateries in Rohini Sector 2 last year, which were near one another.

Additional DCP (Outer) Sudhanshu Dhama said, “On Wednesday night, a scuffle broke out between the accused and victim at a birthday party over their food business. Both sides went home but the four accused went to the victim’s place later… Sharma and his brother were waiting outside. A heated argument led to a fight and one of the accused stabbed Sharma and fled. All other rumours around the incident are absolutely false.”

Police said Sharma was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He is survived by his parents and younger brother.

A senior police officer said, “When their businesses failed, they blamed one another… At a birthday party of a mutual friend, this issue again came up. However, people intervened at that time… The accused later went to Sharma’s place; he was standing outside. Both sides attacked each other and Sharma was stabbed.”The victim’s younger brother Mannu Sharma (19), who is a member of the VHP’s youth wing, however, alleged: “We have been having issues with the accused since last year. In August, we organised a small event for Ram Mandir. They were angered by this but we ignored them. We have always been good neighbours; Rinku even donated blood to one of their family members when she was pregnant.”

He said Rinku worked as a lab technician at a hospital and that “we have no eatery business”.

Mannu said that on Wednesday night, Rinku came home and told him to lock all doors. “Before I could do so, a group of men came to our house and thrashed us with lathis. They beat me up and harassed my parents. They then dragged my brother to the road and stabbed him on the back,” he alleged.

The VHP, in a statement, claimed Sharma was killed as he was collecting donations for Ram Mandir. “The administration… should ensure strictest punishment to the culprits,” said VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain.

Vinod Bansal, the VHP national spokesperson, claimed, “Rinku’s brother is part of the VHP youth wing and Rinku was actively participating in the Ram Mandir fund collection programme.”

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