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Nine held in Khatauli for ‘cow slaughter, attacking police’: ‘Innocent kids thrown in jail, who will marry my granddaughters?’

Seven members of Naseer’s family — three daughters-in-law including Shehzadi, three grandchildren and a distant relative — were jailed for allegedly killing two cows and attempting to murder policemen at the site.

Nine held in Khatauli for ‘cow slaughter, attacking police’: 'Innocent kids thrown in jail, who will marry my granddaughters?' Haji Naseer and Mohammad Haseen at their residence in Khatauli on Thursday. (Abhinav Saha)

On Thursday evening, Nitin Tyagi’s phone rang. “Arre, mubarak ho,” the Muzaffarnagar district court lawyer responded, before dialling another number. “That was a call from Allahabad. Shahzadi has got bail. Slowly, everyone will come out,” Tyagi said.  At Islam Nagar in Khatauli, Haji Naseer (62) had been waiting three months to hear this.

Seven members of Naseer’s family — three daughters-in-law including Shehzadi, three grandchildren and a distant relative — were jailed for allegedly killing two cows and attempting to murder policemen at the site. “My grandchildren are minors. My daughters-in-law had nothing to do with the incident, but they have been languishing in prison since December,” Naseer told The Indian Express, holding their Aadhaar cards.

On December 29 last year, a team from Khatauli police station reached Islam Nagar suspecting that a cow was being slaughtered. As per police records, when they forcibly entered “Waqeel ki Dairy”, “a group of men and women” were seen slaughtering two cows. The group, the FIR states, was carrying weapons like knives and screwdrivers, and they attacked the policemen. Nine people were arrested and four others are absconding, the reports say.

Among those arrested were Naseer’s daughters-in-law Reshma (30), Shahzadi (31) and Afsana (35). Two girls and a boy — Naseer’s grandchildren — were also “arrested”. Police records say the grandson was 21, and granddaughters 21 and 19 years old.

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Their Aadhaar cards, though, tell a different story. While his grandson’s year of birth is stated as 2003, making him 14 years old at the time of the incident, his granddaughters were 16 and 12 years old on the day of arrest.
Two FIRs were filed based on complaints registered by Khatauli Station House in-charge in the case. The chargesheet lists 17 witnesses — all police personnel attached to Khatauli police station.

The FIRs said all those arrested were carrying “weapons which had bloodstains and remnants of some flesh” in their “right hand”. Documents with the chargesheets carry statements of the nine people. Six statements are similar. They state that each accused asked for forgiveness.

While Naseer and his family rubbished the police claims about the sequence of events and involvement of those arrested, they did not deny the cow slaughter.

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Waqeel ki Dairy belongs to Wakeel, whose two wives and two sons were picked up by the police. Pointing to an iron gate at the dairy, Wakeel’s brother Mohammad said, “It was broken. It seems that those behind the cow slaughter rushed out. The police raided three houses nearby and picked up nine people. My sisters-in-law were picked up. One of them, Afsana, had a baby in her lap. Both are in prison.”

On March 27, Allahabad HC granted bail to Naseer’s two granddaughters. With two orders granting bail, Naseer was hopeful but apprehensive. “Children who did not commit a crime were thrown behind bars. Who will marry my granddaughters? If they wanted us in jail, we were ready to go, why did they pick up the children?” asked Naseer.

First published on: 06-04-2018 at 05:32:25 am
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