New Delhi: Family members of the six killed in alleged police firing in Meerut on December 15 during the anti-CAA protests, are still struggling to get copies of the post-mortem reports of their loved ones, which, they say, is stopping them from registering First Information Reports (FIRs) against the police.
It may be noted that 19 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh during anti- Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests that erupted on December 15, most of them allegedly due to police bullets.
The families seeking justice claim that they have not received any moral support from Opposition political parties in the state.
Speaking with NewsClick, family members of some of the victims had alleged that it was clear-cut "targeted killing" by UP police as all those killed in the police firing were not even present at the protest site.
Aleem Ansari (24) allegedly succumbed to a bullet shot in his head while returning from the hotel where he used to work on Hapur Road. The family has a video of Aleem lying dead on the spot with critical injuries.
"It has been more than 15 days. We still haven’t got the autopsy reports despite running from pillar to post. The police refuse to register our FIRs and say “kal aana, post-mortem report nahi aayi hai abhi (Come tomorrow, the post-mortem report has not been received), Mohammad Salahuddin, elder brother of Aleem, told NewsClick.
He claimed that all the victims’ families were bitter about lack of support from local Muslim political leaders, as not a single one had come forward to help.
Despite the odds and poverty, Salahuddin says he will fight to get justice for his family and his 24-year old dead brother who has left his wife behind. "When Aleem was killed, not only our family, the whole city was living in fear, so we couldn't dare to speak, but we will fight for justice for those murdered in cold blood," he added.
It may be noted that after the protest turned violent in Meerut on December 20 after Friday prayers, the police began cracking down on the protesters. They entered various Muslim hamlets and allegedly went on a shooting spree that led to the death of six persons (five of them died on the spot and the sixth in a Delhi government hospital on December 24), as per reports.
A similar story of anguish prevailed in another victim, Mohsin's, house. Mohsin was also killed in Meerut when he left home to get fodder for his two buffaloes. Imran, his elder brother, says he is also running around to get his brother post-mortem report. "Why are they not giving us the autopsy report? What they are hiding if they are so confident that they did not fire bullets?", he said.
Family members of all five complained that the police was stalling their request for the autopsy reports.
NewsClick also approached another victim, Mohammad Aasif (20), Aasif was e-rickshaw driver. His father Idul Hasan was also upset that Opposition parties and Muslims leaders were not providing any legal assistance.
"My son was the breadwinner and was killed by the police despite the fact that he was not in any protest. We are poor people, we hardly manage one- time meal, how will we fight any legal battle? No representative from the government or any political leader from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has come forward to console him," he said.
Newsclick spoke with Supreme Court advocate Anas Tanvir and his team, who visited the affected areas, helping several victims with legal assistance. He said; "In most of the cases, the UP police fired bullets above the waist while they claimed that they did not fire. They are delaying giving post-mortem reports as it will reveal the cause of deaths. In every death that took place in UP, one thing is common-- that police were shot above the neck or chest. When you spread panic in this way and start terrorising people so much, people don't have anywhere to go."
He cited the example of Firozabad, where Harun was shot in his chest. “His family approached me to get him admitted in hospital as he was very critical. We managed to get him admitted but he died the next day. He has also skipped the post-mortem part."
A Meerut-based journalist said several victims were reluctant to go to the police stations, fearing that they could also be implicated in false cases.