“I killed Sitaram Yadav because he had a saffron outlook and, during police remand, he would make Muslims chant ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Jai Siyaram’ and insult their religion and faith.”
SIMI functionary Abu Faisal alias Doctor, who was on October 31 sentenced to life for killing ATS constable Sitaram Yadav in 2009, had given this justification in writing and wanted the court to not “waste time” on the trial when he had already confessed to the murder.
Yadav was shot dead in broad daylight on November 28, 2009, in the communally sensitive town of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh on Bakra Eid. The plot to kill the ATS constable was hatched by Faisal and four other SIMI activists in August of that year. Yadav was reportedly using his network of informers to reach the members of the banned organisation.
The prosecution had argued that he wanted to strike fear among policemen and chose the day of Eid to whip up communal passions in the town.
While refusing to give him death penalty, Additional Sessions Judge B S Bhadoria had sentenced Abu Faisal to life imprisonment “till the end of his biological life” on October 31, 2015.
The 90-page order also details why the trial was shifted from Khandwa to Bhopal and how the SIMI functionary repeatedly insulted the judge during video trial, once even spitting at the camera and warning the judge by saying “apni aukat me rah” (stay within your limits).
Abu Faisal was arrested in Bhopal on June 27, 2011, and the trial began in a Khandwa court on December 29, 2011. He fled from Khandwa jail in 2013 along with five other SIMI activists, but was caught two months later.
The SIMI activists, who were earlier kept in different jails, were then shifted to the Central Jail in Bhopal with the trial also shifting to the special court in Bhopal on January 28, 2014.
Besides Abu Faisal, others accused in the Yadav murder case are Aizazuddin and Aslam, who were killed in a police encounter in Telangana, while two other accused — Zakir and Mehboob alias Guddu — are still at large.
The National Investigation Agency and Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments have announced a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh each on the two absconding alleged SIMI activists.