The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the reported mob lynching of a man after pulling him out of a police van in Shamli district, noting that it appeared that the victim was not protected by policemen from the clutches of hooligans.
The notice was issued to the state chief secretary and director general of police (DGP), calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks, a press release from the NHRC said Friday.
“There cannot be any denial that it was the solemn duty of the police personnel to keep the arrested man in safe custody so that he could not be denied his infallible right to get justice in accordance with law,” the commission said.
In the instant reported incident, it appeared that not protecting the victim from the clutches of hooligans or an inciting mob resulted in his death, it noted.
The commission took suo motu cognisance of media reports that Rajendra alias Manu (28) was pulled out of a police van and beaten to death by a mob in the presence of constables in Hathchoya Village of Shamli district on November 26.
It observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amounted to violation of the human rights of the victim.
The NHRC release mentioned a video clip of the purported incident circulated on the social media showing the victim sitting in a police vehicle. A man in a blue shirt opened the door of the van and slapped the victim repeatedly. A policeman seated next to the victim held him by the arm. The man was then seen pulling Rajendra out of the vehicle.
The victim’s family has alleged that six villagers, with whom he had quarrelled the previous day, beat him to death with lathis.
The Shamli superintendent of police (SP) was reported as saying that the victim did not die in police custody as he had escaped from the police van and was beaten up by the crowd later. The SP had also reportedly said that after about two hours, the victim suffered a fall from the roof of his house and died due to head injuries, the release noted.
However, on the basis of a complaint filed by the victim’s brother, an FIR under various Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, including 302 (murder) and 148 (rioting with armed weapons), was lodged at the Jhinjhana police station against six persons and one of them, identified as the “main accused”, was arrested, the NHRC said.
Meanwhile, the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress took potshots at the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, accusing it of “carrying out fake encounters”.
“This government is carrying out fake encounters and we have been highlighting this. There is no law and order in the state and the police are using encounters to pat their own back. All encounters in the present regime should be thoroughly probed,” SP MLC Rajpal Kashyap said.
Similar was the refrain of the Congress.
“The state government has failed on all fronts. Police encounters are done with a political agenda and these tantamount to violation of human rights, which need in-depth probes,” Congress spokesperson Mukesh Singh Chauhan said.