A brother’s search ends at the mortuary

Aftab was tortured and burnt alive before being thrown into the Karawal Nagar drain, alleges Qadir

Six days after he went missing, Mohammad Qadir’s search for his younger brother Aftab ended at RML Hospital mortuary here on Monday.

Fearing how his family will react, Mr. Qadir said he has decided not to inform them about Aftab’s death for the time being.

The 20-year-old is understood to be the only one — out of five bodies that were recovered from separate drains in north-east Delhi between Sunday and early Monday — to be identified by next of kin.

Not only were the fingers on both his hands “hanging by shreds of skin”, the hair on Aftab’s head was also missing, Mr. Qadir said, adding that this leads him to believe that his brother, a Class 11 student who had come to Delhi just a week ago from Bijnor, was tonsured, tortured and burnt alive before being thrown into a drain in Karawal Nagar.

‘Wanted to be a doctor’

“See his hair? He liked this kind of fashion... I told him [Aftab] there was no need for him to come here [Delhi] and he should concentrate on his studies... The family didn’t need him to earn. He wanted to be a doctor,” Mr. Qadir said as he held up Aftab’s picture.

Naali mein girne se baal bhi chale jaate hain kya? Nahin jaate. Mere bhai ko peetne ke baad jalaya gaya hai phir naali mein phenk diya [Does one lose one’s hair after being thrown into a drain? They don’t. My brother was beaten up and burnt alive before his body was thrown in a drain],” he alleged.

According to Qadir, Aftab wanted to learn welding so he could start a small workshop which he would manage along with his studies. Mr. Qadir said that Aftab’s friends in Delhi had offered to help him get initial training because of at which Aftab arrived in Delhi on February 23.

Aftab went incommunicado a little over a day later prompting his family to get in touch with his friends.

“His phone was unreachable, so we got in touch with his friends on Tuesday [February 25]. They told us that they had seen Aftab being assaulted by a mob on Monday evening when he was at a supplies store in Shiv Vihar,” Mr. Qadir said.

“We came to Delhi on Wednesday and began looking for him. While in Loni area, my family and I asked a few Uttar Pradesh policemen about the situation in Delhi and they told us to go to GTB Hospital,” he said. Over the next five days, Mr. Qadir and his father Mohammad Umar would make rounds of GTB, Lok Nayak and Jag Parvesh hospitals during the day. They would spend their nights at a shelter at Kashmere Gate.

On Monday morning, one of the ambulance drivers at the GTB Hospital whom Mr. Qadir had befriended suggested that he visit RML Hospital where five bodies had arrived. These bodies were taken out of drains, including one from the drain in Karawal Nagar where Aftab had been with his friends.

“I sent my father and brother to RML mortuary who identified Aftab’s body by the yellow jacket he was wearing when he left home a little less than a fortnight ago. They called me to the hospital to make sure it was him,” Mr. Qadir said.

“His stomach was badly decomposed and bloated,” said Mr. Qadir, adding that he identified Aftab by a mole on the left side of his chin.. “We will not tell our family tonight. We will just take his body home for burial after the paperwork,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 5:54:26 PM |

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