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How 10 murder cases fell: “Police tutored me…forced to sign blank papers”

Case by case: How 10 murder cases during Muzaffarnagar riots fell

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | Muzaffarnagar | Updated: July 20, 2019 5:58:22 am
At least 65 people were killed in the 2013 riots (Express photo: Ravi Kanojia)

60 people burnt my family alive: Witness

Date: September 8, 2013, Phugana police station.

Judgment: August 16, 2017.

Charges: Murder, rioting, arson against Gurmeet Malik, Neeraj, Devender.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Before succumbing to injuries, complainant Mohammed Akhtar said: “At 2.30 pm, I was at home with father Abdullah, wife Rahisa and brother Waheed. Around 60 accused, including Kala, Ompal, Satveer, Manjeet, Gurmeet, Pradeep, Harveer, Sanjeev, Ikwal, Kala, Arun, Rupendra, Mahak, Bhram Singh and Billu, armed with weapons and kerosene, burnt my wife and father alive, who died on the spot. They attacked my brother with weapons and killed him and set the house on fire.”

READ | The Muzaffarnagar whitewash: Like in murder, accused got away in rape, rioting cases too

Witness: Akhtar’s son, Hashim said, “I was not present when my father, brother and sister-in-law were killed. Accused were not present in Shamli during the incident. I have not deposed under any pressure from the accused. I was not a witness to the incident.”

Red flags: Hashim told the court, “I recorded the statement under pressure from the police.

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Videographed statement given under pressure, police tutored me: Witness

Date: September 8, 2013, Phugana police station.

Judgment: August 16, 2017.

Charges: Murder, rioting, arson against Arun, Mohit, Sanjeev, Kuldeep, Rupendra, Pradeep, Pramod, Rupendra, Mahak Singh, Satyaveer.

FIR: Before succumbing to injuries, complainant Mohammed Akhtar said: “At 2.30 pm, I was at home with father Abdullah, wife Rahisa and brother Waheed. Around 60 accused, including Kala, Ompal, Satveer, Manjeet, Gurmeet, Pradeep, Harveer, Sanjeev, Ikwal, Kala, Arun, Rupendra, Mahak, Bhram Singh, and Billu, armed with weapons and kerosene, burnt my wife and father alive, who died on the spot. They attacked my brother with weapons, killed him and set the house on fire.”

Witness, Akhtar’s son, Hashim said: “I was not present when my father, brother and sister-in-law were killed. Accused were not present in Shamli during the incident. I have not deposed under any pressure from the accused. I was not a witness to the incident.

Red flags: Hashim told the court, “My statement was video recorded in village Jaula. I did not go to the police station to record my statement. I video recorded the statement under pressure by police officials.”

Another witness, Ikwal said: “Police took my signatures on blank paper. I don’t why police named the accused. The video-graphed statement was given by me under police pressure. The police tutored me during the video recording.”

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Made to sign on blank paper: Witnesses

Date: September 8, 2013, Phugana police station.

Judgment: January 31, 2018.

Charges: Murder and rioting against Danveer, Bilendra, Virendra, Neeraj, Kallu, Ashok.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Asiya, whose husband Asimuddin was murdered said: “At around 12.30 pm, my husband, his first wife and son were at home. Rioters set our house on fire. My husband and his first wife (Haliman), were old and could not walk, and were murdered during the riots. My son Sabir recognised the accused – Danveer, Bilendra, Neeraj, Jasveer, Indrapal, Kallu, Ashok.”

Witness Asiya told court: “I know the accused present in the court, they did not commit murder. I did not see the accused who murdered my husband.”

Two other witnesses, Latur Singh and Devendra told court: “Thumb impression was taken on a blank paper by the police.”

Red flags: All witnesses told the court that police did not record any statement that was read out in court. Asiya said, “Some people came and took my thumb impression. I did not name anyone.”

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3 bodies were found in a field

Date: October 30, 2013, Bhudhana police station.

Judgment: October 4, 2018.

Charges: Murder, kidnapping and rioting against Madan, Guddu, Praveen, Lalla.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Mohammed Kaish said: “Around 25 people, who came from Neeki Ram’s field, threatened us with weapons. Rajendra, Manga, Aravind, Saran, Shailendra, Harmer, Azaad, Mange Ram, Harendra, Madan Pal, Lalla, Praveen, Guddu and eight others threatened us. They said that we are filing police complaints and that they have had to leave their homes to escape arrest. They dragged Amroj, Meherban and Ajmal’s body till Mohammedpur. I called the Pradhan and then we found three dead bodies in Shitaabi’s field.”

Witness Kaish Khan: “I did not give the names of the accused to the police, the accused present in the court were not involved in the incident.”

Red flag: Kaish told court, “Some people came to my house and took my signature on the complaint.”

Attackers said they will cut Muslims into pieces for filing complaints: Witness

Date: October 30, 2013, in Bhudhana police station.

Judgment: October 4, 2018.

Charges: Murder, kidnapping and rioting against Harendra, Brajveer.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Mohammed Kaish said: “Around 25 persons, who came from Neeki Ram’s field, threatened us with weapons. Rajendra, Manga, Aravind, Saran, Shailendra, Harmer, Azaad, Mange Ram, Harendra, Madan Pal, Lalla, Praveen, Guddu and eight others threatened us. They dragged Amroj, Meherban and Ajmal’s body till Mohammedpur. I called the Pradhan and then we found the three dead bodies in Shitaabi’s field.

Witness Kaish Khan: “I did not name the accused, the accused in the court were not involved.”

Red flag: Police told the court that the weapon recovered from the spot did not have any bloodstains.

No bloodstains on weapons: Police

Date: October 30, 2013, Bhudhana police station.

Judgement: October 12, 2018.

Charges: Murder, kidnapping and rioting against Mangey Ram, Arvind, Sharon, Rajender, Haramehar, Azad, Sensar Pal, Rajender.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Mohammed Kaish said, “Amroj, Meherban, Ajmal, Shah Alam and I were working at our field. At around 5 pm, 25 people threatened us with weapons. They dragged Amroj, Meherban and Ajmal’s body to Mohammedpur.”

Witness Kaish: “The accused persons did not murder them.”

Red flags: Police told court that the weapon recovered from the spot did not have any blood stains, and so was not sent for scientific examination.

Accused killed him with swords

Date: September 8, 2013, Phugana police station.

Judgment: October 9, 2018.

Charges: Murder, rioting, arson and dacoity against Harpal, Kuldeep, Chashm Veer, Sumit Pal, Ram Kumar, Sunil, Vinod, Anurag.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Zarif said, “At 10 am, the accused Harpal, Sunil, Brahm Singh, Sripal, Chasmveer, Vinod, Sumit, Kuldeep, Aravind attacked my family. Sripal hit my father’s (Islam) head with a sharp weapon and six others attacked him with swords. They set the house on fire.”

Witness Zarif told court: “The complaint was written by Gulzar (Zarif’s cousin). I only signed on the complaint. The accused present in the court were not involved in the incident.”

Red flags: Zarif told court that police did not record his statement and he did not witness the murder.

Family members murdered: Witness

Date: September 9, 2013, Mirapur police station.

Judgment: December 20, 2018.

Charges: Murder, attempt to murder, rioting and wrongful restraint against Manoj Bhadra Kashi, Bittu, Jogi, Anil, Sumit, Arjun.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Khalique Ahmed said, “My nephew Sharique, Nasir and Shaan Mohammed and I were returning from Meerut. At our village, 40 people armed with weapons stopped us. My nephew Sharique and Shaan were attacked. We tried to escape. Our neighbours hid us at their homes. I can recognise the attackers, who are from my village – Tinku, Badal, Sandeep, Mohit, Satyakam, Manoj, Sani, Lacchi Raam, Darshan, Sunil and Chanchal.”

Witness Khalique Ahmed said: “The accused present in the court are not involved in the murder.”

Red flag: Khalique Ahmed told court, “The police did not question me during the investigation. I did not record the statement that is being read out to me in court.”

I was made to sign on blank paper: Witness

Date: September 9, 2013, Titawi police station.

Judgment: December 20, 2018.

Charges: Murder, attempt to murder, rioting against Gaurav, Kapil, Minto Balyan, Sumit

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Arshad said, “My uncle Rojuddin and I were travelling to my village Mukundpur on a motorcycle… three young men stopped us. One of them Kallu, who is from my village, attacked us with a spade. My right shoulder was injured. Six men murdered my uncle with spades.

Witness Arshad: I cannot identify the accused who killed my uncle. The accused present in the court did not kill my uncle. I was injured when I fell off the motorcycle.

Red flags: Witnesses Mir Hasan and Jagvir told court that they were asked to sign blank documents.

Villagers told me to name accused: Witness

Date: September 9, 2013, Mirapur police station.

Judgment: January 9, 2019.

Charges: Murder against Neetu, Mohit, Sachin.

Verdict: All acquitted.

FIR: Complainant Saleem said, “When my brother Nadeem did not return, we went in search of him. We saw residents of our village fleeing the field owned by Shaudan Singh, they were all carrying weapons. We found my brother’s dead body in the same field.”

Witness Saleem: “The accused did not kill my brother Nadeem. Villagers told me the names of the accused and Rajendra, from our village, wrote their names in the complaint.”

Red flags: Saleem said in court, “I did not record the statement that is being read out to me.”

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