Lucknow: Yet another incident of police atrocity has been reported in Uttar Pradesh. This time, a horde of policemen swarmed into a house in Siddharthnagar district during a raid to arrest a person who was suspected in a cow slaughter case. His 53-year-old mother died allegedly after sustaining a bullet injury in police firing while resisting her son's arrest.
The episode took place in the wee hours of Saturday when the local police, along with a special operations group (SOG), went to the Islamnagar Kodra Grant village under Sadar Police Station to arrest the woman's son Abdul Rehman, a suspect in a cow slaughter case. Roshni, Rehman's mother, tried to rescue her son, and later, the police allegedly opened fire. She allegedly sustained a bullet injury on the right side of her back.
The deceased's son, Atiq-ur Rehman, claimed that his family was busy preparing for the wedding of his sister Rabia, scheduled to be held on May 22. Around 25 cops barged into their house on Saturday night. They tried to take his brother Abdul Rehman forcefully into custody without giving any reason. When his mother objected to the move, one of the cops opened fire in which his mother sustained a bullet injury due to which she died on the spot, he alleged.
Rehman said they were not aware of the crime for which the police had come to arrest his brother. They told local media in the district that the family went to the village from Mumbai only on Saturday for their sister's wedding.
A first information report (FIR) under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against some unknown policemen at the Sadar police station in the district. The complaint was lodged based on claims made by villagers and relatives, said Siddarthnagar Deputy Superintendent of Police Pradeep Kumar Yadav.
In the complaint, they alleged that police personnel first threatened to shoot Roshni when she tried to rescue her son and later opened fire.
Meanwhile, a counter FIR under IPC sections 146 (rioting) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) has also been registered against about 20 villagers, the Siddarthnagar DSP said.
The police are refraining from saying anything in this regard. NewsClick tried to contact Superintendent of Police Dr Yashveer Singh, but he did not respond to Newsclick's calls to get the police version.
While the deceased's family alleged that she was killed in police firing, the senior officer added, "It is yet to be established how the woman died."
Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Circle Officer Siddharthnagar, said police had gone to conduct a raid at the location when villagers surrounded the police team and started pelting stones at them. They also fired, said the officer.
"One woman was shot at and she died during treatment. All allegations made by the family are being probed," he said.
Abdul Wadud, a local activist, said that the police had first taken Atiq-ur Rehman as a suspect in the cow slaughter case two days before the incident took place. The police, along with SOG, again came on Saturday to arrest his younger brother Abdul Rehman in the same case. His mother opposed the move, saying that Abdul Rehman came from Mumbai on Friday only; hence, how could he be involved in any crime when he was not in the city. "Police asked her to hand over Abdul Rehman, or otherwise, they will shoot her. When she did not let the police take her son away, one of the cops opened fire. She died on the spot," he claimed while speaking to NewsClick. He added that the family belongs to the banjara caste (nomadic tribe) and are migrant labourers in Mumbai.
A doctor who is part of the investigation said on the condition of anonymity that there was a bullet injury mark as the bullet passed through the deceased's body.
This is the second such case of police brutality in the state within fifteen days. A 21-year-old girl from Manrajpur village in Chandauli district, Uttar Pradesh, died on May 1 after being allegedly thrashed by police who had gone to her house to conduct a raid.
The police had gone to her place to apprehend her father, Kanhaiya Yadav, a history-sheeter. The girl's family had alleged that the police thrashed her to death. Based on the complaint of the family, an FIR has been ordered against the police personnel. The Station House Officer (SHO) of Saiyadraja police station in Chandauli district was suspended.