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Friday, January 15, 2021

Delhi: 12 acquitted in 2015 murder, court pulls up police

The woman, Shugra Begum, was shot in the head when a group of men tried to confront AAP polling agent Haji Yameen in Nehru Vihar on February 7, 2015.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi | December 22, 2020 7:12:06 am
Khalistani operative, Khalistani operative arrest, Gurjeet Singh Nijjar, NIA, indian express newsNijjar was arrested at the Delhi airport on Tuesday in connection with a case filed in 2019. (Representational)

Pulling up police for its “lackadaisical attitude”, a Delhi court Monday acquitted 12 men accused of killing a 62-year-old woman while confronting an Aam Aadmi Party polling agent over allegations of bogus votes being cast during the 2015 Assembly elections.

The woman, Shugra Begum, was shot in the head when a group of men tried to confront AAP polling agent Haji Yameen in Nehru Vihar on February 7, 2015. Yameen’s son Imran called the police when he saw the group, allegedly armed with pistols and hurling abuses, outside his house. The prosecution told the court that they were trying to confront his father and opened fire indiscriminately, during which Begum was shot dead.

During the trial, both Imran and his father turned hostile and “completely demolished the case of the prosecution”, the court said.

It also noted that three other prosecution witnesses turned hostile, and when confronted with their statements made to the police, “vehemently denied having made any such statement to the IO (investigating officer)”.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, in his judgment, also pulled up the IO, inspector Sanwar Mal, over a delay in preparing seizure reports.

Mal had deposited three exhibits at the Malkhana, but the third exhibit, a sealed bottle containing a bullet, was deposited by the IO without preparing a seizure report, “surprisingly for reasons best known to him”, the court said.

Further, an assistant sub-inspector, Umesh Singh, had testified in court that he did not remember the recovery of any bullet.

“I find substance in the submissions of defence counsel that in view of the deposition of ASI Umesh Singh, it is crystal clear that inspector Mal did not conduct any proceedings on 19.02.2015 at the mortuary of GTB Hospital and manipulated the date of seizure… with the sole motive of replacing/changing the actual recovered bullet from the forehead of the deceased with another bullet after firing the same with a pistol, and later on planted the said bullet and pistol upon accused Rajesh,” the court said.

It observed, “As if this was not enough, the lackadaisical attitude of IO further pulled down the curtains for the already slippery prosecution case. Admittedly, the IO did not send the seized DVR, CD containing CCTV footage and the audio CD containing the alleged conversation between accused Zakir and prosecution witness Sher Khan Malik to FSL for examination; he even did not take the voice sample(s) of Zakir and… Malik. This is a material lapse on the part of the investigating agency as it had failed to prove an important connecting link in the chain of events which are required to be proved by the prosecution…”

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