The FIR lodged by Uttar Pradesh police in the case related to the mob lynching of a cattle trader in Hapur (Uttar Pradesh) says it was a case of road rage. The FIR claims 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.
The FIR bears the thumb impression of a younger brother of the deceased. The police apparently detained the family and made them go on a wild goose chase in search of Qasim , who was already dead, in various hospitals till they agreed to put their thumb impression on the FIR.
The police also resisted their attempt to lodge an FIR by saying that there couldn’t be two FIRs in the same case.
It is a case of a dodgy and false FIR registered by the police after putting the complainants under duress, asserts Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves. It is incumbent upon the police to register a fresh FIR. He also called for an investigation by an independent agency because the UP Police, he said, had lost all its credibility.
Samiuddin’s brother Mehruddin said that his brother had gone to collect fodder from the fields when he noticed a group of young men thrashing another man. When Samiuddin tried to intervene, the mob pounced upon him, and while showering him with abuses, beat him up.
Referring to the Hapur Bar Association, which has thrown its weight behind the two people arrested for the lynching, Gonsalves says a fair trial in Hapur does 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.
Gonsalves gives the example of the Supreme Court transferring the case of the Mirchpur lynchings to Delhi, in which a conviction was secured within six months.
Hapur Bar Association has maintained that the two men arrested by the police were innocent and were being persecuted by the police. Some members of the Bar have even demanded that the accused should be immediately set free, or else the Bar would launch a massive stir to secure their release.
Nadeem, Qasim’s younger brother holds that Qasim had left home at 11 am on that fateful day with ₹50,000 to buy a milch animal. “At around 3:30 pm , our we were informed by the police that my brother was admitted in a hospital following a fight between him and some people. Police asked us to reach the police station, where they kept us waiting till 6:30 pm before we were told that Qasim was admitted in Nandini Hospital,” he added.
On reaching there, they found his corpse, with only ₹14,000 in his trouser-pocket.
He alleged that someone gave a call from a temple that a cattle-smuggler had been caught, and soon enough, a frenzied mob of about 50 gathered at the spot, chased Qasim, and upon catching him, beat him to death.
Samiuddin’s brother Mehruddin said that his brother had gone to collect fodder from the fields when he noticed a group of young men thrashing another man. When Samiuddin tried to intervene, the mob pounced upon him, and while showering him with abuses, beat him up. Samiuddin sustained multiple fractures and is presently in the ICU of a Hapur hospital.
When Hapur SP Sankalp Sharma was questioned why the FIR mentioned road rage instead of what had really happened, Sharma reportedly shot back- “We have invoked the right sections- Section 307 IPC (attempt to murder) and Section 302 (murder). You social activists should be satisfied with that, why bother about the rest?”
Members of ‘United Against Hate’, however, allege that the police action appears malafide and designed to ensure that the case against the accused collapses in court.