FIR filed against 42 policemen
Even as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav recommended a CBI enquiry into the death of suspected Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) militant Khalid Mujahid, an FIR has been filed against 42 policemen including the former Director-General of Police, Vikram Singh, and the then Additional Director-General (Law and Order), Brij Lal.
According to the police, Khalid died after he complained of uneasiness while returning from a hearing in the Faizabad district court on Saturday.
The First Information Report under Sections 302 (murder) and 120 B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code was lodged at the Kotwali police station in Barabanki in the early hours of Sunday by Khalid’s uncle, Zaheer Alam Falahi. He alleged that his nephew was murdered and that it was part of a conspiracy.
In fact, the relatives accepted the body only after the Chief Minister recommended a CBI probe on Sunday.
It was buried in his village Madiyahoon in Jaunpur district in the evening.
On Saturday, the Chief Minister ordered a high-level probe by Home Secretary Rakesh and ADG Javed Akhtar into the alleged mysterious death.
According to the police, autopsy — done by a panel of five doctors in Barabanki and videographed — showed no ante-mortem injuries and as the cause of the death could not be ascertained the viscera has been preserved.
Khalid, who was an accused in the cases of serial bomb blasts in Lucknow and Faizabad courts on November 23, 2007, is said to have fainted at Ram Sanehi Ghat in Barabanki district on Saturday. The other accused, Tariq Qasmi, Sajjadur Rahman and Mohammad Akhtar had also been taken for the court hearing and were in the jail van.
Khalid along with Tariq had been arrested on December 22, 2007 from the Barabanki railway station. The trial is pending in both cases.
But Mr. Falahi, in his complaint, on the basis of which the FIR was lodged, alleged that his nephew had been “kidnapped” from Madhiyahu Bazaar in Jaunpur district on December 16, 2007 by 42 policemen including Mr. Vikram Singh, Mr. Brij Lal (now DG Training), Manoj Kumar Jha, Chiranjeev Nath Sinha, S Anand and IB men.
Thereafter, a conspiracy was hatched and Khalid was shown to have been arrested on December 22, 2007 on “fake” recovery of explosives, said the complaint, a copy of which is with The Hindu.
Referring to the Akhilesh government’s application in court for withdrawal of the terror cases, the complaint said had a case been filed against the policemen, Khalid would have been the main witness. (The court has rejected the plea to drop the cases).
Meanwhile, civil rights activists have demanded that it be “treated as custodial killing” and a case of murder booked against police officers who were escorting Khalid back to the Lucknow jail.
A statement signed by academics, journalists and activists has demanded that the CBI inquiry be held in a time-bound manner, and the police officers named in the FIR filed by Khalid’s family be arrested.
The signatories include Teesta Setalvad, Shabnam Hashmi, Kavita Srivastava (People’s Union for Civil Liberties) and Sandeep Pandey.