A mother’s long wait for justice

Her son was allegedly assaulted by police during Delhi riots and later died of injuries

Updated - March 03, 2023 01:37 am IST

Published - January 19, 2022 01:22 am IST - New Delhi

A week after being pulled up by the Delhi High Court for delay in identifying the persons responsible for the death of 23-year-old Faizan, who was allegedly assaulted by policemen and made to sing the national anthem during the north-east Delhi riots in 2020, the Delhi police have informed the court that they have identified the head constable who made a video of the incident. “It has been two years, you have been able to identify just some person?” the court asked.

Faizan, who along with four other men was allegedly assaulted by policemen, later died of his injuries. The head constable, who allegedly made the video of the incident, has denied the charge. For their part, the police are awaiting the forensic report of his phone.

As the case drags on, the 60-year-old mother of the victim has lamented the lack of progress in the matter. Kismatun, a widow, had moved the High Court seeking a court-monitored SIT probe into her son’s death. “The police have been trying to defend the accused,” she said, adding that she is now devoted to fighting the case till her death “come what may”.

Sitting in her home at Kardampuri, she told The Hindu : “The lawyers keep informing me that the police are being scolded by the judge... I feel relieved on hearing that, as they are the ones who brutally assaulted my son. They should have identified and arrested some officer by now.”

“It’s been two years since the incident, my tears have dried up remembering my son... It pains me every day as the case lingers on. I want the accused to be brought to justice,” Kismatun said, showing Faizan’s photograph kept in her pocket. “I have faith in my lawyers and the judiciary, only they can question the police for their wrongdoings.”

Faizan, who worked as a butcher at the Ghazipur Chicken Mandi, was allegedly abused and thrashed by at least six policemen at 66 Foot Road in Kardampuri and was made to sing the national anthem on February 24.

According to Kismatun’s petition, Faizan was then forcefully kept at the Jyoti Nagar plice station and not provided the required medical treatment. He was eventually released the next day in an injured state, following which he succumbed to his injuries on February 26.

Ever since the incident, Kismatun, who lives with her four other sons, has rued Faizan’s absence as he was “among the youngest and the brightest child”.

“He started working as a tailor when he was 12 years old and later took up the job of a butcher. We had a lot of hope from him as he used to earn well and was focused on his work… We had even fixed his marriage,” the mother recalled.

‘Cameras not working’

The police had earlier told the court that the cameras inside the Jyoti Nagar police station were not operating between February 25 and March 4, 2020 “due to technical reasons” and that Faizan and the four others were kept inside the police station “as per their own wish”.

“When Faizan was alive, I used to work in a jeans factory nearby but after his death I don’t feel like doing anything… I still remember that before going to work he used to wake me up and wait till I locked the gate,” Kismatun added.

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