An Uttar Pradesh constable Prashant Chowdhary was on Saturday, September 28, arrested and booked for murder after he allegedly shot dead a Lucknow-based young executive working with Apple Inc at close range, an official said.
The incident happened at around 1.30 am, when Apple sales manager Vivek Tiwari was heading home in a vehicle after the launch of iPhone X plus along with his colleague. The police constable, reportedly failing to stop Tiwari during checking, chased him and shot him in the neck, killing him, said the colleague. She said after they were fired at, Tiwari got scared and hit the car against a pillar of an underpass and sustained more injuries.
According to the police’s version, when the constable at Gomtinagar extension signalled Tiwari to stop for checking, he tried to flee. Tiwari sped away and hit a motorbike ridden by two constables, who then chased him and shot him. The constable fired in self-defence, an officer claimed.
The colleague, who was present with Vivek Tiwari when he was shot, has asked for strict action against the culprit.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Lucknow Kalanidhi Naithani said constable Prashant Chowdhary has been booked for murder after the colleague filed an FIR.
A second policeman has also been arrested and medical examination of both was underway to ascertain whether they were drunk when the incident took place, an official informed.
A post-mortem is being conducted to know whether Tiwari died of bullet injury or injuries sustained after his vehicle hit the pillar, the official said.
Meanwhile, Kalpana Tiwari, wife of deceased Vivek Tiwari, has raised several questions to the Yogi Adityanath Government and sought an explanation as why fire was open at him instead of being arrested.
She can be heard saying in the video shared by news agency ANI, “We voted and brought in the BJP government with so much faith. When Yogiji became the Chief Minister, we were most happy, and then this happens to us. The Chief Minister should come and explain what my husband did wrong. Was he a terrorist?”
“Was he a terrorist that police shot at him? We choose Yogi Adityanath as our representative, we want him to take cognisance of the incident and also demand an unbiased CBI inquiry,” ANI reported Vishnu Shukla, brother-in-law of deceased Vivek Tiwari as saying.
“It's a clear case of murder. I've served as a police inspector, I know a person is never shot in the neck. Such an incident never occurred the way it has under Yogi government,” ANI reported Tilakraj Tiwari, uncle of the deceased as saying.
Fearing a backlash amid reports that the ‘encounter raj’ prevalent in Uttar Pradesh has led to a situation of trigger-happy cops, a Special Investigation Team has been quickly set up. Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “Investigation is underway. If an innocent person has been killed by the police, action will be taken against those found guilty.”
ANI also quoted UP ADG Law & Order Anand Kumar as saying “Post mortem report establishes a firearm injury from a bullet on the left side of the chin, viscera of the victim has preserved. Thorough investigation is being conducted to establish the sequence of events. Law has been violated in this case. If the situation demanded firing of a bullet, it could have been fired at the car tyre, even then it was not right to do so. This is a shameful incident for us.”
SSP Naithani told media that “A SIT has been formed under SP crime. I have personally sent a request to District Magistrate for a magisterial inquiry into the incident.”
With IANS inputs