Sixty-year-old Kamlesh Devi was watching TV at her house in Bulandshahr’s Shikarpur when a news channel flashed a headline that her younger son, Balraj Bhati, had been killed in an encounter. On Monday evening, outside the post-mortem examination house in Noida, Devi sat on the ground, waiting for her son’s body.
“I had not spoken with him for almost six years. His wife and two children, who are less than 10 years old, also live with us. He had not been in touch with them either. We didn’t know where he was living,” she said. Devi, her daughter and a son who works in the Army maintained they were unaware of the cases against Bhati. “There were some cases in our village which were based on personal rivalry but he left the village at least six-seven years ago and never returned… We came to know what had happened to him around 1.30 pm and we rushed to Noida,” Devi said.
While Bhati’s family waited for the post-mortem examination to be conducted, 30-year-old Ajay Kumar Goswami, in the surgical ward of the Noida district hospital, narrated what he witnessed on Monday afternoon. “I was at the traffic signal near Bikaner Sweets in Sector 41 and was parking my motorcycle when I saw a man being chased by at least 10-15 policemen and police vehicles,” Goswami said.
A supplier of disposable cutlery, Goswami said he felt a stab of pain on the left side of his torso. “There was a lot of firing but I did not realise what had happened till a boy standing around 50 metres away from me screamed. That is when I realised he had been hit by a bullet, and so had I. I alerted people nearby and a police vehicle brought us to the hospital,” he said.
Police said they recovered one 9 mm carbine and five live bullets, and one 9 mm pistol and two live bullets from the accused.