Meerut police have said that they had opened fire during last Friday’s protest against the new citizenship law and proposed NRC, but added that none of the six persons who died during the protests were killed in police firing.
Earlier this week, police in Bijnor and Kanpur had said that they opened fire, but only in self-defence and that none of the protesters was killed by them.
“While there was heavy firing on the police by protesters, the police fired only seven rounds and none of the police firings took place at the spot where the bodies of the protesters have been recovered,” Superintendent of Police (Meerut City) Akhilesh Narain Singh said on Thursday.
According to police, the six deaths were reported from Khatta Road, where they did not open fire. “We have seized 67 empty cartridges from Khatta Road during our search on December 20. We also fired from non-lethal projectiles like rubber bullets, anti-riot and tear gas guns to frighten people that day,” the SP added.
In its report to the state government and Union Home Ministry, Meerut police have also sent detailed post-mortem reports of five of the six men who died in the protests that day.
As per the police, the autopsy report of the victims said that two of them — Asif (20) and Asif Ahmed (32) — suffered bullet injuries in their stomach, two others — Aleem Ansari (24) and Zaheer Mohammed (32) — on their head and one Mohsin (34) on his chest.
The autopsy report also stated that neither the bullets and nor the splinters were found in bodies of the deceased, which means that only an in-depth forensic report can identify the type of bullets that hit them, the police said.
Barring the 20-year-old Asif, all the dead were residents of Bhumia Ka Pul in the city. The sixth person, Saalim (28), a resident of Tala factory lane in Bhumia Ka Pul, died at a Delhi hospital this week.
Meanwhile, police have registered 17 FIRs against 180 named people and nearly 5,000 unidentified people at four police stations — Kotwali, Lisadi Gate, Nauchandi and Brahmpuri. A total of 54 people have been arrested so far, the SP said.
“We have also formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an unbiased investigation into the violence on December 20. No innocent will face police action, but those involved will face stricter actions like being charged under the National Security Act. Special instructions have been issued to ensure a foolproof investigation,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Sahni.