Mohammad Raees, who was killed during Friday night’s violence between protesting locals and some police personnel in Jaipur’s walled city area, was just passing by when he was hit by a bullet. The youngest of three siblings, Raees, a college student, was on way to get some supplies for a function the family was holding to observe the 40th day since the death of his aunt – called “chaaliswan” — when he fell to a police bullet, family members said on Saturday.
While several locals agreed with the family, the police have denied the charge. Police Commissioner Sanjay Agarwal said, “The cause of his death will be ascertained only once we have the postmortem report.”
Mohammad Haneef, eldest of the three brothers, claimed: “Of course, he died in police firing. How else (could he have died)? Who else was there firing bullets?”
Waiting outside the mortuary, where his brother’s body was kept, Haneef said, “We demand an FIR against the errant policemen and suspension of the entire (force in) Ramganj police station. Unless that happens, we will not allow his postmortem — no matter how long it takes.”
Umar Daraaz, local councillor from nearby Eidgah locality who said he was witness to the incident, alleged that the police used force hastily. “I went inside the police station to talk to the police and the woman (who, along with her husband, was allegedly manhandled by local police during a traffic clean-up on Friday evening). There were some 400 people gathered outside. Barely three or four minutes later, when we had resolved the situation, I asked the woman to show the FIR to the crowd outside to convince them she was all right, and defuse the situation. But soon as we came out, we saw the police had started a lathi-charge,” Daraaz claimed.
As the crowd started throwing stones in retaliation, he said, “the police soon fired tear gas shells, which angered people further and they torched an ambulance parked there”. Daraaz said the police then opened fire.
“Aadil (Raees’s nickname) was just passing by on his motorcycle when one of the bullets hit him.”
Mohammad Jameel, the second brother, said that the family was awaiting Raees’s return when they received a call, saying he had been shot. “We went looking for him and was told that he had been taken to SMS Hospital (Sawai Man Singh Hospital). We went there but couldn’t find him.”
A neighbour thereafter called up and said he was taking Raees to the hospital on his two-wheeler.
Blaming the police for the delay in helping his brother, Jameel said, “He could have been saved had he been attended to and taken to hospital in time.”
The family also demanded compensation of Rs 1 crore and a government job for a family member.
Kavita Srivastava of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties said, “We believe Ramganj police is solely responsible for the entire incident. Had they registered the woman’s complaint on time, the crowd would not even have gathered. There should be a judicial inquiry.”