Uttar Pradesh Police has informed the Supreme Court that the alleged case of lynching reported last year in Hapur, where a Muslim man died, allegedly after being attacked by cow vigilantes, did not occur “on the basis of religious feelings”
The police gave a clean chit to accused on alleged charges of criminal conspiracy, stating that investigation does not point out any conspiracy, the court has been informed.
The trial court hearing the case has framed charges of murder, attempt to murder, rioting, rioting armed with deadly weapon, in connection with the alleged mob lynching of Qasim Qureishi.
Qasim, 45, was beaten to death by a mob on a sugarcane field in Pilkhuwa town of Hapur, in western UP, in June 2018.
“All facts, right from the stage of filing the chargesheet, were incorporated in the status report submitted by the respondents,” according to the affidavit. “…the incident had not occasioned on the basis of religious feelings and no evidence indicating the same had so far been brought on record either by way of oral evidence or documentary evidence,”.
The police “reiterated” that the investigation was done in an “independent and unbiased manner by recording statement of the witnesses and collecting relevant material. During the course of investigation thorough efforts were made to bring on record the relevant and necessary material evidence such as video CD and danda (stick) used in the commission of the instant crime.”
Replying to the petitioner’s reply to the police’s status report – that the police had omitted to use legal provisions that would show common mens rea, or common intention or common object of the mob — UP Police stated: “The allegation of omitting Section 34, 120B and 149 IPC in the chargesheet suffers from the vice of predetermined and biased approach of petitioner. In this connection, it is submitted that the relevant and appropriate sections of IPC were incorporated…on the basis of facts, evidence.”
Advocate Vrinda Grover, counsel for the petitioners, informed the court that the magistrate recorded statements of Qasim’s brothers – Saleem and Nadeem – under Section 164 CrPC, and that is yet to be placed before the trial court. She also requested the court to direct UP Police to file a supplementary chargesheet to bring on record the statements they made.
But the vacation bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said that “no such direction, as prayed for, ought to be issued.”
The court said, “The order that would be appropriate…at this stage would be to permit the petitioners to draw the attention of the trial judge to the aforesaid statements of the brothers of the deceased…”