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Apple employee shot dead by UP police for not stopping car

Scene outside the the residence of 38-year-old techie, Vivek Tiwari, who was shot dead in Lucknow.

Scene outside the the residence of 38-year-old techie, Vivek Tiwari, who was shot dead in Lucknow.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

While the policeman who was on patrol duty claimed he fired at the car in self-defence as it tried to run over his motorbike, questions are being raised on the sequence of events as narrated by the police.

A sales employee of multinational technology company Apple was on Saturday shot dead in Lucknow by a constable of the Uttar Pradesh police, allegedly after he refused to stop his SUV car for checking at the call of the policemen who were on patrol duty on a motorcycle.

The victim, identified as Vivek Tiwari, was dropping his colleague Sana Khan home when the incident took place near the Gomti Nagar Extension area in the early hours of Saturday between 1:30 a.m. and 1:45 a.m.

A case of murder has been lodged against the two constables, Prashant Chaudhary and Sandeep, said Lucknow SSP Kalanidhi Naithani, adding that the two had been found guilty of “excessive use of force.” The constables have been arrested.

UP DGP O.P. Singh has constituted an SIT under IG Lucknow to probe the case after the victim's family demanded a CBI probe into the incident and alleged that the police were trying to cover up the incident. ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar said the autopsy report of the victim established that he died due to a gunshot injury to his chin.

While the policeman who was on patrol duty claimed he fired at the car in self-defence as it tried to run over his motorbike, questions are being raised on the sequence of events as narrated by the police. As per the FIR filed by Ms. Sana Khan, the victim's colleague, Mr. Tiwari had parked the SUV near the City Montessori School when two policemen approached them.

“We tried to avoid them but they tried to stop us and then I suddenly felt that a bullet was fired. Our car moved forward and collided with the wall of an underpass. Vivek was bleeding heavily from his head,” read the FIR. After being fired at, Mr. Tiwari reportedly lost control of the vehicle and rammed it into an underpass wall. He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Talking to the media, Ms. Khan said that Mr. Tiwari did not stop the car as he thought it was not wise to stop a car in an isolated place with a woman inside. Prashant Chaudhary, the constable who fired the bullet with his service weapon, said he had found the vehicle to be “suspicious” and claimed that the car tried to run over him when he waved at it to stop.

“The car was closed and its headlights were off too. We did not know who was inside, nothing could be seen. As soon as we moved forward, the car tried to run over the bike,” said Mr. Chaudhary, adding that his two-wheeler was damaged.

He said he had pulled out the pistol to scare off the driver but alleged that Mr. Tiwari tried to run him over three times. “When he did it for the third time it was with the intention to kill because I had fallen on the ground,” said the constable.

Mr. Tiwari's wife Kalpana Tiwari has demanded a CBI probe into the incident and questioned the role and intention of the police. “He was shot from the front. Police are saying that he tried to flee. If he was not stopping the vehicle, you go to the RTO office and note down the number of the vehicle. Why did you have to shoot him? He has little children. Why did you kill an innocent man,” said Ms. Tiwari.

She also wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. CM Adityanath said the incident was not an encounter and his government would hold a thorough probe. “Prima facie those guilty have been arrested. If needed, we will send it to the CBI,” he said.

Our Correspondent Vijitha adds:

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he spoke to CM Adityanath and has asked him to take appropriate action in the shooting down of Mr. Tiwari in Lucknow.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 1:53:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/apple-employee-shot-dead-by-up-police-for-not-stopping-car/article25080576.ece

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