Fourteen of the 16 persons who were killed during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act over the last four days in UP succumbed to “firearm injuries”, senior police officers from eight districts confirmed to The Indian Express.
Of the other two, officers said, Rashid (35) died due to head injuries in Firozabad while Mohammad Sageer (8) succumbed to injuries sustained in a stampede as police tried to disperse protesters in Varanasi.
Those who died from bullet injuries are: Mohammed Wakeel (32) in Lucknow; Aftab Alam (22) and Mohammad Saif (25) in Kanpur; Anas (21) and Suleman (35) in Bijnor; Bilal (24) and Mohammad Shehroz (23) in Sambhal; Jaheer (33), Mohsin (28), Asif (20) and Areef (20) in Meerut; Nabi Jahan (24) in Firozabad; and, Faiz Khan (24) in Rampur.
Late Sunday, police said that a 28-year-old HIV patient succumbed to firearm injuries sustained during Friday’s protests in Kanpur.
Police said the bodies of 15 victims were handed over to their families after post-mortem. The Indian Express contacted the victims’ families for comment and four responded that they were yet to receive the post-mortem reports.
Faiz’s brother, Faraz Khan, told The Indian Express: “He was shot in the abdomen, there are over a dozen eyewitnesses and the police know who can shoot from the front. Once the post-mortem report is given to us, we will know if he died in police firing.”
When contacted, IG (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said: “In most cases, autopsy reports suggest that the victims died in firing by protesters.” He said that detailed reports have been sought from the districts.
In Lucknow, a police spokesperson said that the autopsy report of Daulatganj resident Wakeel confirmed death due to “firearm injury”. “It mentions blackening near the exit spot, suggesting that he was shot from close range,” he said.
In Kanpur, Circle Officer Manoj Kumar Gupta confirmed that Aftab and Saif died due to firearm injuries sustained “during violence that took place near the mosque in Nayi Basti”.
”Aftab told me that police had fired on him,” said Aftab’s brother-in-law Mohammad Rizwan. Saif’s brother Mohammad Zaki said, “Eyewitnesses told us that my brother was shot by police.”
Bijnor SP Sanjeev Tyagi said Anas and Suleman died due to firearm injuries sustained during clashes in the Nahtaur area.
Bilal and Shehroz died during protests, and the autopsy report has confirmed firearm injuries, according to Sambhal Additional SP Alok Kumar Jayswal. Sheroz’s family said they were yet to receive the post-mortem report.
Meerut Additional SP Akhilesh Narayan Singh said Jaheer, Mohsin, Asif, and Areef died due to firearm injuries during violent protests on Friday.
In Firozabad, SP Sachindra Patel said the post-mortem report had confirmed that Rashid died after sustaining “lacerated wounds” and Nabi Jahan died due to firearm injuries during protests in the Nalband locality.
Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh cited the autopsy report to confirm that Faiz Khan’s death occurred due to a firearm injury.
In Varanasi, Circle Officer Sudhir Jaiswal said that eight-year-old Sageer died in a stampede after police used force to disperse protesters in the Bhelupur area.
(With Kaunain Sheriff M in Rampur)