Grief and fury grip families which lost loved ones in Delhi clashes

Head constable Rattan Lal too had a gunshot injury: family

February 25, 2020 10:57 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 11:23 am IST - New Delhi

Deep loss: The kin of a victim of the clashes at GTB Hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Deep loss: The kin of a victim of the clashes at GTB Hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Head constable Rattan Lal, who died in the violence in Delhi on Monday , was laid to rest on Tuesday in the presence of senior officers, including Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. Lal’s family, which received the body at the mortuary on Tuesday afternoon, said he died of a gunshot injury.

The body was taken to Kingsway Camp, where the last rites were performed.

“He was ill on Monday. He had high fever. His wife asked him to take leave but he still went. What could he do, especially in this situation and when there are fewer officers?” Lal’s brother-in-law Deepak Bari said.

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Mr. Bari said Lal’s wife received a call around 4 p.m. that he had been injured and was in a serious condition. “She then called us in Jaipur where we reside. We switched on the TV and news reports said he had died. We immediately left for Delhi,” he said.

Five of the other dead have been identified as Mohammed Furkan, Shahid Khan, Nazim, Vinod and Rahul Solanki. Outside the mortuary of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital on Tuesday, families of deceased gathered to receive the bodies of their loved ones.

Hari Singh Solanki, Rahul’s father, a resident of Dayalpur, said he called the police control room around 3 p.m. after he sensed tensions escalating in the area, but no one turned up. “I called all the police officers whose numbers I had but no one turned up. My son died when he had gone to buy milk just around the corner. He was shot,” he said.

“We took him to a nursing home nearby; they refused to treat him. We wanted to take him to GTB Hospital straight but the road was blocked due to clashes. We then took him to a government hospital but he was dead by then,” the father said.

Mr. Rahul’s sister is due to get married on April 27.

Also read | CBSE exams put off in 86 centres in northeast Delhi

Shahid Khan’s brother Imran said he got married four months ago and his wife is pregnant. “He is an autorickshaw driver and had gone to work in the morning. Around 4 p.m., we were informed that he had been shot. We found his body two hours later,” he said.

Khan was a resident of New Mustafabad and a native of Bulandshahr. Mr. Imran said their brother had got a WhatsApp message of the death in their village. “He received his photos on WhatsApp and called me. We went looking for him but couldn’t find him for two hours. We were informed that he was shot in Bhajanpura,” he said.

Subsequently, the family was informed that he had been brought to a nursing home close to their residence. They then went there and claimed the body. “We kept his body in the street for an hour not knowing what to do. Elders in the area then suggested to take him to the hospital for post- mortem examination. He was shot in the chest,” Mr. Imran said.

Stoned to death

Vinod Kumar, a resident of Brahmpuri, was stoned to death on Monday, his family said. His son Monu said they had gone out to the street when stones were thrown at them. “Nobody came to help us,” said Mr. Monu, who also sustained injuries.

Mohammed Furkan’s brother Mohammed Imran said he looked for his brother in GTB Hospital’s emergency ward for a while before he could find his body. “I asked the doctor if I could take him to a private hospital but he said he was already dead,” the brother said.

While Mr. Imran claimed that his brother was not a part of the protest, he was of the view that the clashes was “repeat of Gujarat model and not for development but for violence”.

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