‘Aleem was killed in crossfire between rioters’

Meerut police have said Aleem, one of the five persons who died during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act violence on December 20, 2019, was killed by a bullet fired by rioters.

Investigating officer Ramsanjeevan of Nauchandi police station said the investigation was still on but CCTV footage, post-mortem examination and circumstantial evidence indicate that he was killed by three men — Anees, Mohsin, and Mehtab. “Anees and Mohsin are already in jail while Mehtab is on the run. We have added sections 301 (unintended murder), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 120B of IPC to the FIR,” he said.

The inspector further said a potassium nitrate test conducted on Aleem’s body for gunshot residue revealed that he had handled a firearm before death. “This indicates that he could have been killed in the crossfire.”

For a long time, the police were maintaining that Aleem was killed by unidentified men and he was brought dead to the district hospital. Mr. Ramsanjeevan said the confusion was created because earlier the FIR was lodged at the Lisadi gate police station, while Aleem died in Nauchandi police station area.

‘Bogus claims’

Supreme Court lawyer Ali Zaidi, who is arguing for the five victims, described it as a “bogus story” which is being constructed to save the culprit and senior police officers who were involved in “destruction of evidence”.

“We have lodged a complaint with the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police against police officers with video evidence but an FIR has not been registered,” said Mr. Zaidi.

Alleging role of policemen in Aleem’s death, on February 14, Salahuddin, brother of the deceased, had written to district officials that he had video evidence that Aleem was shifted to a government hospital by Meerut police in its own vehicle.

Mr. Ramsanjeevan said he didn’t receive any such video evidence.

Meanwhile, Salahuddin and Idul Hasan, father of Asif (one of the five victims), have approached the National Human Rights Commission for registration of an FIR against the police officers. “Let them come up with these stories, the truth will be revealed in the courtroom,” said Mr. Zaidi.

Additional District Magistrate Subhash Chandra Prajapati, who is conducting the inquiry in the case, said he was still waiting for any concrete evidence to reach him.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 11:12:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/aleem-was-killed-in-crossfire-between-rioters/article30954135.ece

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