Why are UP cops insisting Muslim victim of mob lynching was killed due to personal enmity?
Samir Chaudhary, 22, a resident of Shamli in Uttar pradesh, was beaten with sticks and rods by several men on Thursday, and died while being taken for treatment
Soon after media picked up the case of the violent death of 22-year-old Samir Chaudhary, a resident of Shamli in Uttar Pradesh, Superintendent of Police Sukirti Madhav Mishra made a public statement on social media and said the killing was not a communal lynching as alledged but was a result of an altercation fed by a “dispute”.
He added that both the accused and the victim were known to each other, and that there was a “fight” between the two and Samir was injured, and subsequently succumbed while he was being sent to a hospital in Muzaffarnagar for treatment. One person has been arrested so far, and seven others have been identified.
The investigations are ongoing, and the police’s quick statement on the matter dismissing the communal angle has come surprisingly fast. The victim’s family has told the media that he was “lynched to death by Hindutva militants on Thursday evening, while he was returning home from work”. According to a report in Maktoob, Samir’s Cousin, Pravej claimed the assailants attacked Samir for his “Muslim identity” and thrashed him with “sticks and iron rods and killed him”. His uncle added that “attackers kept picking Samir and throwing him on his head.” The incident was reported from the Banat town of Shamli district.
According to news reports Samir was at the bus station when he was beaten with sticks and rods by several men on Thursday, September 9. According to the local police, the injured youth was being taken for treatment but he died on the way. A case of murder was registered after a complaint was filed by Adil, the victim’s uncle.
According to SP Madhav the case has been filed under Sections 142, 147, and 302 of the Indian Penal Code. “We opened the investigation and arrested the main accused, Vardhan,” Sunil Negi, a police inspector, told Clarion India. The seven others named in the FIR are: Vatanraj, Akshay, Raj, Ashish, Lucky, Chintu (Ayush Rana) and Bhonda. “The accused belong to Jat community while the victim is a Muslim,” added Negi.
Apart from murder, the police have also invoked charges of rioting against the accused under Section 147 and 148 of the Indian Penal Code.
It was reported that Adil, alleged that Samir was brutally attacked by “10 to 12 men” due to an old enmity. He added that the accused fled from the spot after this, assuming Samir was dead. According to The Quint, “Samir had gone to the bus stand to get medicines, there he might have had an altercation with the accused, after which they carried out the murder.” Adil told the media that the accused were known hooligans. The report cites the FIR that records it was the relatives who reached the spot after the incident took Samir to CHC Shamli, he was then referred to Muzaffarnagar but died on the way.
According to a report in The Clarion, this case may not be a case of a mere altercation between two groups. The report quotes Samir’s cousin Parvez saying that “a group of Muslim boys were arguing with boys from the Jat community on some matter” however the “elders from their community intervened and started beating up Muslims.” Samir somehow was caught in the mele while others managed to escape.
It is crucial to recall that Shamli is near Muzaffarnagar district, where just days ago the massive Kisan Mahapanchayat had called for harmony between the two communities, but the right-wing groups had added a negative communal twist even there. On September 5, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait invoked Muslim and Hindu slogans together in an attempt to offer a symbol of solidarity in the area which had witnessed one of the worst communal clashes between Hindu and Muslim communities in 2013, coincidentaly in the same month. Over 60 people had died, mostly Muslims and many more had been injured during the 2013 communal violence. More than 40,000 Muslims were reportedly displaced in the aftermath of the riots which have had a long lasting social and political impact in the state, especially in the two districts of Shamli and Muzaffarnagar.
Sameer was a mechanic and is survived by his mother, two brothers, and a sister, reported the clarion. He was the sole earning member of the family.
Courtesy: Sabrang India
Note: This news piece was originally published in sabrangindia.in and use purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights objectives.