November 23, 2016 12:47:37 am
A day after a man believed to have been a key witness in the gangrape and murder of a woman was found dead, Kairana’s BJP MP Hukum Singh held a panchayat at a temple in Akbarpur Sunheti village, near Kairana town, Tuesday. He asked Hindus in the Muslim-majority village to remain united and fight the “shaitan” (devil) who killed a “decent man”.
Brahmpal Singh, 55, was shot dead in his house on Monday, according to the police. He was a relative of the woman who was kidnapped on April 4, and was found murdered three days later.
Seven people from the village — all of them Muslims — have been named in the murder case on the basis of a complaint registered by Brahmpal’s brother.
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SHO A P Bharadwaj said one of the accused was arrested on Tuesday, but did not name him.
“There are contradictions in the complaint made by the victim’s kin and the circumstantial evidence. For instance, why did they not call the police when they saw the killers running away? We got a call about the murder on Monday morning — that also from the PAC personnel who are deployed barely 150 yards from the victim’s house.” He said more policemen have been deployed in the village to maintain peace. “Raids are being made to arrest the others to verify the allegations, as there is tension in following the murder,” Bharadwaj said.
Addressing a gathering of about 150 locals later in the day at the village’s only temple, BJP MP Hukum Singh said, “Anyone who kills a poor man has to suffer. Wo to chahte hi hain ki tum unse daro or ye gaon chhod kar chale jaao. Magar unhe jeetane mat do. Sangathit raho. Yahin raho aur in shaitano ki chhaati par moong dalo (They want you to be afraid and leave this village, but don’t let them win. Be united, stay here, and defeat the fiendish ideas of the devils).” Singh said Brahmpal’s killers have snatched away a “bhala aadmi” (decent man) who was fighting the gangrape and murder victim’s case. “We have to take Brahmpal’s fight forward.”
Akbarpur Sunheti has a population of approximately 5,500 —about 30 per cent of them Hindus.
While Singh was addressing people, many Muslims were gathered around Dawood Ali, the village pradhan, who had a different version. “Brahmpal was a good friend. He was annoyed that they had named Muslims in the case, and believe me, he was not pursuing the case the way they claim he was,” Ali claimed. He called Brahmpal’s murder suspicious and sought a “fair probe”. “Kisi ko nahi bataya unhone; bas mandir me jaa ke loudspeaker par bola. Ye bhi koi baat hui,” Ali asked, referring to the fact that the family did not call police but went to the temple and announced Brahmpal’s death over loudspeaker.
The family claims calls to Police Control Room did not elicit a response. Police say that claim has to be verified. Brahmpal’s father Phool Singh, 96, blamed people from the other community for killing his son.
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