POLITICS
07/01/2020 6:40 PM IST

UP Man's Family Asks Who Killed Him During CAA Protest, Police Silent

The Uttar Pradesh police says it is probing who killed Noor Mohammad, but his family members denied knowledge of any probe.

HuffPost India
Twenty five year old Noor Mohammad (seen in this old family picture) died after being shot through the forehead during the CAA protest in Muzaffarnagar on December 20.

MUZAFFARNAGAR, Uttar Pradesh — More than two weeks after Noor Mohammad, a twenty-five-year-old driver, was shot dead during protests in Muzaffarnagar against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act passed by the Narendra Modi government, the police have still not told his family who killed him and under what circumstances.

“Neither was my sister allowed to see his face, nor has the post-mortem report come and no action has been taken either. We will know only after getting the report,” Shaheen, sister-in-law of Noor Mohammad told HuffPost India on Sunday, Jan 5. 

But it appears that Shaheen’s hopes of knowing who killed her brother-in-law and action against the perpetrator will not yield much. At least not anytime soon. On Jan 7, Senior Superintendent of Police for Muzaffarnagar Abhishek Yadav told this reporter that the post-mortem only shows that the death occurred due to a “firearm injury” and, based on the family’s request, the police filed an FIR in late December under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with punishment for murder, to probe who murdered the twenty-five-year-old. In an interview, the family members, however, denied having filed any FIR or complaint about the death with the police.

Yadav also said that the police shared a copy of the post-mortem report with the family on Monday, January 6. There had been a delay in sharing the report because the post-mortem was conducted in a different district and the police got the copy late as well, he reasoned. But Muzaffarnagar-based advocate Akram Akhtar, who checked with the family on Tuesday January 7, disputed this and said the report had not been shared by the police. 

The role of the Uttar Pradesh police, which has been accused of killing Noor Mohammad by shooting him on the forehead, an accusation it denies, is significant in the entire sequence of events concerning the only death that occurred during the protest in Muzaffarnagar on December 20 against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The role of the Uttar Pradesh police, which has been accused of killing Noor Mohammad by shooting him on the forehead, an accusation it denies, is significant in the entire sequence of events concerning the only death that occurred during the protest in Muzaffarnagar on December 20 against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

It was the police officials who took Noor Mohammad to a government hospital in Muzaffarnagar after he was hit by a bullet and then to another hospital in Meerut where he was declared brought dead on the same day.

The family members say, after he was declared dead and a post-mortem was conducted on the body, the police neither provided the family the post-mortem report nor were they permitted to bury Noor Mohammad at a place of their choice.  

“The police told my sister in Meerut that they won’t let her take back the body to Muzaffarnagar saying she could take out a procession, make noise about it,” said Shaheen. 

She stated that it was only after Sanno, her sister, signed a document that Noor Mohammad’s body was taken for post-mortem. “But she was not shown his face. When she asked if she could take the body to her parent’s home, they did not allow her to do that either,” the 22-year-old Shaheen said. “Only male members of the family were shown the body.”

Muzaffarnagar SSP Abhishek Yadav refuted Shaheen’s allegation. The police had no role to play in deciding where Noor Mohammed was buried, Yadav said, “It was entirely up to them.”

During her conversation with this reporter Shaheen said that Sanno, her sister and Noor Mohammed’s wife, wants her husband’s killers identified and brought to book. She denied any knowledge of an FIR filed under section 302 of the IPC to probe Noor Mohammad’s death by firing as claimed by SSP Yadav. 

As Shaheen spoke, Sanno, who is in the seventh month of her pregnancy, rested after repeatedly answering similar queries from reporters, politicians, lawyers, activists and police officials. 

“Many people are coming. They just look and go back,” said Shaheen. 

 But has anyone tried to help the family get justice? 

“So far no one has,” she said. 

People have offered and paid money totalling Rs. 2 lakh so far to the evidently poor household which was dependent entirely on whatever Noor Mohammad earned as daily wage driving or doing odd jobs when needed.

Shaheen spoke with HuffPost India a day after Priyanka Gandhi visited the family.

“She said she will help us get justice,” said Shaheen about Gandhi’s visit. 

Recalling the ill fated day, she said of Noor Mohammad, “He left home at 1:30 pm saying that he was going to read namaz. It was the day of Jumma (Friday prayers). But we found out at around 7 pm that he was hit by a bullet.” 

Noor Mohammad’s elder brother Umar Daraz filled in with more details. “We went to Meerut the next day because it was late in the evening when we heard about his death around 7-8 pm and situation in that city was tense as well,” he said. 

According to him, the family requested the police to let Noor Muhammad be buried in Mansurpur or Khatauli, both areas in Muzaffarnagar where they have relatives, but were prohibited by the cops from doing so. “The police was afraid that we might do some hungama,” said Umar. 

Eventually, his final resting place came to be Dolarai in Meerut.