After a 20 year old man, Irshad Ahmed, was allegedly shot dead in what is being touted as a fake encounter in Muzaffarnagar district on November 27, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu congizance of the matter and demanded a detailed report on the incident within four weeks.
The ‘encounter’ took place near the victim’s village of Nagla. The police had claimed that the victim and four others were transporting bulls in a mini truck and had opened fire at them when challenged. But the victims and family and villagers called the whole story a sham as Irshad did not even know how to drive. Irshad’s father Dilshad had stated that he had no criminal record and was gunned down in cold blood by the police.
The NHRC has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and Director General of Police stating that the alleged extra-judicial killing is a huge violation of the human rights of the victim and his family. The NHRC observed that an extra-judicial execution amounted to culpable homicide.
But that’s not all. The NHRC has also taken suo motu cognisance of another example of human rights violation in the state. On November 26, 28 year old Rajendra alias Manu was dragged out of a police van and beaten to death by a mob in the presence of police officials in Hathchoya village in Shamli district.
Rajendra’s family has alleged that six people, with whom he had had an argument the previous day, were responsible for the attack. After the victim’s brother filed a complaint, an FIR was lodged against six people under sections 302 (murder) and 148 (rioting with armed weapons) of the Indian Penal Code at Jhinjhana police station. In fact, one of the “main accused”, has been arrested.
However, the Superintendent of Police (Shamli) had said that Rajendra had escaped from police custody and was attacked by the crowd subsequently. Later he slipped and fell from the roof of his house, his cause of death being a head injury due to the fall. But in an interesting twist, according to local media reports, what may have been a video clip of the incident, was circulated on social media. In it the victim can reportedly be seen sitting in a police vehicle. A man in a blue shirt then opens the door of the van and starts slapping the victim repeatedly. A policeman sitting next to the victim holds him by the arm. The man is then seen pulling Rajendra out of the police vehicle.
Shooting off another set of notices to the UP Chief Secretary and DGP, the NHRC has demanded an explanation as to how the policemen present on the spot failed to protect a man in their custody. The commission has also demanded the present status of the case registered against the perpetrators.