Hapur court grants bail to lynching accused

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Following UP Police filing a case of road rage and Hapur Bar Association rallying round the accused, a sessions court has granted bail to the main accused in the mob lynching case of Qasim Qureishi

A Sessions Court in Hapur has granted bail to the main accused in the case of mob lynching of Qasim Qureishi two days after Eid, the video of which had gone viral on social media last month.

The bail was granted by Sessions Judge Renu Agarwal on submission of a bail bond of one lakh of Rupees.

There is widespread surprise at the bail being granted within 20 days of the arrest of the main accused. Police investigation is still continuing and other accused are still being identified. Lawyers contacted by NH said that in murder cases it is rare for the accused to get bail so early. In this case the main accused was arrested on the deposition of Samiuddin (67), who had also been assaulted after he tried to rescue Qasim. Ironically, Samiuddin was discharged by the hospital on the same day, July 6, on which the main accused Yudhisthir was granted bail.

The FIR did not mention the name of Yudhisthir but he was arrested along with one Rakesh on the basis of the statement recorded by Samiuddin. Rakesh is still in judicial custody and hearing on his bail petition is due in court on Monday.

The FIR lodged by Uttar Pradesh police had maintained that it was a case of road rage. The FIR claimed that the deceased Qasim Qureishi (45) and Samiuddin (65) critically injured by the mob,were set upon by a mob after they hurled stones at an unidentified vehicle which had hit them.

A fact-finding team, which visited Hapur had said in a statement that before the lynching, an announcement was made from the nearby temple allegedly asking people to gather there, as cow killers had been caught red-handed, "which is a repeat of the modus operandi adopted in the Dadri incident where Akhlaq was lynched to death for allegedly consuming beef. Police however, say that they are not aware of any such announcement".

The FIR lodged by Uttar Pradesh police had maintained that it was a case of road rage. The FIR claimed that the deceased Qasim Qureishi (45) and Samiuddin(65) critically injured by the mob, were set upon by a mob after they hurled stones at an unidentified vehicle which had hit them.

It is a case of a dodgy and false FIR registered by the police after putting the complainants under duress, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves had asserted at a protest meeting in Delhi. He had also called for an investigation by an independent agency because the UP Police, he said, had lost all its credibility.

Referring to the Hapur Bar Association, which had thrown its weight behind the two people arrested for the lynching, Gonsalves had said that a fair trial in Hapur did not seem possible. The victims’ families, he said, would be within their rights to demand that the trial be shifted out of Hapur, possibly to Delhi.

But the bail granted to the main accused appears to have demoralised the family of the deceased. “We no longer have any hope for justice,” exclaimed Salim, brother of Qasim Qureishi.

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