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Ray of Hope for Families of Dead Firozabad Anti-CAA Protesters

Tarique Anwar |
A local court has disposed of the closure reports filed by the police and registered ‘complaint cases’ in five deaths.
The bereaved family of Shafique, 45.

The bereaved family of Shafique, 45.

Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh)/New Delhi: The families of five out of the seven men killed during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP), on December 20, 2019, have found a ray of hope for justice after a local court disposed of the closure reports filed by the state police and registered ‘complaint cases’.

In this process, the complaint is filed either orally or in writing with the magistrate, who first examines the complainant and witnesses. If the judicial officer is satisfied that the complaint coupled with the examination discloses an offence, he/she takes cognisance of the offence. Subsequently, the accused/suspects are summoned during the trial.

The court order came after the counsel for the families challenged the police’s closure reports, filed a year after the incident. Dismissing the allegations that all seven men were killed after the police fired at anti-CAA protesters, cops in the final reports had stated that they were killed when “miscreants” fired indiscriminately during the stir.

.... Thousands had gathered against the CAA/NRC. Meanwhile, the protest turned violent and miscreants opened haphazard firing. A bullet fired by a miscreant hit... Despite tireless efforts, he (the killer) could not be traced,” the police had said in the closure reports, which were termed “a bizarre and brazen lie” by the families.

Of the seven cases, the police filed a chargesheet in only one case wherein 12 men (all Muslims) were charged for allegedly causing death by negligence of one Rashid (Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code). All the accused are out on bail.

Rashid (27), who was handicapped and a resident of Kashmiri Gate area, died on the spot after being hit on the forehead. His post-mortem report suggests that he died of a stone injury. However, eyewitnesses and his family members and lawyer allege that he was shot by the police.

Contesting five of the six final reports, advocate Saghir Khan of the Association of Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) told the court that the seven men died when the police fired in the presence of the superintendent of police (city), circle officer, city magistrate and the concerned station house officer. Khan alleged that cops started firing following the superintendent of police’s order. 

The investigators deliberately did not carry out a fair and unbiased probe. As a result, the applicant was denied justice,” he told the court.

The court was also apparently dissatisfied with the police investigation and ordered a reinvestigation and registration of complaints in five cases.

There seems to be a contradiction between the allegations levelled by the applicant and the facts on record. In this situation, the court is empowered to examine the statements of the complainants and the witnesses. In view of the facts and circumstances, registering the protest petition as a complaint case appears to be fair. Therefore, the final report is disposed of and the protest petition is registered as a compliant case,” the court noted in its order, passed in May, July and September.  

Khan, who is fighting a lone battle, told Newsclick, “Out of the seven deaths, final reports were filed in six cases and a chargesheet in one. After we filed protest petitions against five of the six closure reports before the then-chief judicial magistrate, he ordered a reinvestigation into one and compliant cases in five cases.”

One of the deceased families, Khan added, has “accepted the final report in writing in the court”.


The reinvestigation was ordered in the case of Shafiq (45), who died on December 26, 2019, while undergoing treatment at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. 

According to his brother and complainant Nisar, as the violence broke out, Shafiq ran through the alleys at Masroor Ganj to ensure that his brothers are not standing on his newly constructed second house near Naini Chowraha, where protesters and the police were clashing.

A police bullet entered the left side of his head and exited diagonally from the opposite side,” Nisar told Newsclick alleging that his brother was “denied treatment at the Firozabad district hospital and Agra medical college. He was conservatively treated at a private hospital in Agra which later referred him to Safdarjung Hospital”. 

Nisar further alleged that the police are harassing him and his family for pursuing the case. “The day the court ordered the reinvestigation, the police picked me up and tried their best to force me to change my statement. I was detained for a long time and only released following a strict court order.”

Rani, whose husband Shafeeq is one of the deceased, has given up hope for justice. “When the killers are investigators, how can one expect a fair probe or justice? I don’t have any hope from the system,” the mother of 16-year-old Sania said.

My only priority is the health and education of my daughter, who is down with a severe backache.” 

Sania lost her father, a daily wager at a bangle factory, when she was in grade nine. To fulfil her father’s dream of her becoming a doctor, she has opted for physics, chemistry and biology in 12th grade to take the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test to get admission to MBBS next year.

Putting up a brave fight to get justice for his deceased son, Md Mobeen (48) finally lost the battle with cancer in September. A resident of Nagla Kothi Mohalla, Mobeen’s eldest son Muqueem (21) was also killed allegedly in the police firing. A daily wager at a bangle firm, he was the family’s only source of income.

The family had to sell its small house at a throwaway price to fund Mobeen’s treatment. Muqueem’s mother Shamsun Begum and her four teenage sons and daughters have to vacate the house in the next few days.

Despite the injustice and the hardships, Begum is not broken. Despite being “harassed by the police”, she is determined to fight till the “murderers of her son” are brought to the book.

The police are harassing me. A posse of men in uniform barged into my house in the dead of night and assaulted my children. I was picked up by male cops and brought to the police station for no reason. But I will not give up. I won’t let the death of my husband and son go in vain,” she told Newsclick trying to control her emotions.

Following the registration of the complaint, Begum has to depose before the court the next month to record her statements.

Nayi Abadi (23), a resident of Azad Nagar, was also killed allegedly in the police firing. After the court accepted his lawyer’s protest plea against the police closure report, his father Yamin (52) has to get his statement registered before a magistrate on January 7.

Haroon (23), from Nagla Mulla village, was the sole breadwinner of his family of 10 after his father died of cancer. A cattle trader by profession, he had gone to Pachokhara market, near Tundla, to sell his buffalo.

It was around 4.30 pm when he was hit by a bullet in the police firing near Naini Chowraha,” his uncle Md Shoaib, who is the complainant in the case, alleged.

The bullet pierced his chin and exited from the opposite side. He was so courageous that he dialled me even in that condition to inform me he was injured in the police firing,” Shoaib told Newsclick.

We found him unconscious and rushed him to the district hospital and later to the Agra medical college but he was denied treatment at both places. We took him to, at least, six hospitals in Agra but none of them treated him,” Shoaib said adding that he was “somehow admitted to GG Medical Institute and Research Centre, Agra, on December 25. He was finally referred to AIIMS Delhi, where he died”.

Shoaib alleged that his written complaint mentioning that Haroon died in the police firing was not accepted by cops, who allegedly threatened and made him sign blank papers. 

The police refused to file an FIR based on my complaint, wherein I had narrated the exact sequence of events. They asked me to sign blank papers and leave,” he alleged recalling a cop telling him, ‘You all will be framed if you don’t leave right away,’” he further alleged. 

Haroon’s mother Nayeem Fatma broke down while sharing some of his memories. “Trouble was brewing since morning. I asked him not to go to the market. He smilingly told me not to worry as he would return soon. My son never returned,” she said breaking into tears.

Nayeem Fatima breaks down if one asks about his son Haroon, 26, who died allegedly in police firing near Frozabad's Naini Chowraha on Dec 20, 2019.

Nayeem Fatima breaks down if one asks about his son Haroon, 26, who died allegedly in police firing near Frozabad's Naini Chowraha on Dec 20, 2019.

Asked if she expects justice, Fatma said, “It’s a distant dream as the police are not even ready to acknowledge the crime they committed. Let’s see what the court does.”

Following the registration of the compliant case, Shoaib too has to make a statement before the court.

Abrar (32), who belonged to Masroor Ganj, was shot in the back. He too was allegedly denied treatment at the district hospital and the government medical college in Agra. He was taken to Apollo Hospital, Delhi, where he died. His complaint case too is listed for the recording of the statement of his father Ejaz, who is the complainant.

Md Ayyub, father of deceased Nabija (23) allegedly gave written acceptance to the police’s final report. However, he told Newsclick he is unaware of any such affidavit filed on his behalf.

 Md Ayyub's son Nabijan, 22, received a bullet while he was returning to work after Friday prayers on Dec 20, 2019.

 Md Ayyub's son Nabijan, 22, received a bullet while he was returning to work after Friday prayers on Dec 20, 2019.

How can I accept the police claim that my son was not shot dead by them?” he asked alleging his signature taken earlier might have been “misused by the police”.


Advocate Khan further alleged many people sustained injuries in the police firing but did not lodge police complaints fearing that they would be framed.

They got treatment at private nursing homes and clinics. They did not report it as their fear was not unfounded. One Sattar, a resident of Ramgarh, was secretly undergoing treatment. The police came to know about it and booked him under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 394 (robbery) and 396 (committing murder for dacoity) of the IPC apart from other charges,” he said.


None of the police personnel were willing to go on record when asked about the court disposing of the closure reports and registering the complaint cases.

As a professional police force, we conducted a fair probe without any bias. The final reports were filed after the police failed to trace the miscreants who fired at other protesters and caused their deaths,” a police officer requesting anonymity told Newsclick.

Since it was a huge and violent crowd, it wasn’t possible to locate the armed men. We tried our best but could not find them,” he said defending the police’s final reports while refusing to comment on the court’s decision.

When queried about the alleged harassment of the complainants and denial of medical aid to the victims at their behest, he dubbed it a mere allegation “without any basis”.

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