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The encounter of Mustaqeem and Naushad was nothing but a cold-blooded murder, say family members

The family members of Mustaqeem and Naushad addressing a press conference at Press Club, New Delhi. Photo courtesy Shariq Husain

By By Abdul Bari Masoud, Muslim Mirror

New Delhi: The family members of Mustaqeem and Naushad– the two labourers killed in a questionable encounter in Aligarh on 20 September –knocked door of the National Capital to expose the UP police’s “extra-judicial conduct in killing the people in the name of eliminating criminals”.

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Narrating the heart-wrenching details about the “encounter”, the victims’ family members on Saturday told a packed Press Club of India here that “it was nothing but a cold-blooded murder”.

“My children were killed in a brazen manner by the Uttar Pradesh Police. Our only crime is that we are poor…We have no one around to stand by. I want to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for justice,” the few words the mother of Mustaqeem could utter before breaking down while addressing the media. Her narrations of the sequence of event also brought tears in many eyes in the presser.

The killing was shrouded in the mysteries after the victims’ families vehemently contradicted the Police version point by point and claimed that the victims were picked up by the police four days before the “staged killing” – the local media houses were invited to cover the live encounter. While the video footage exposed glaring loopholes in the police theory, the latter continued to justify their action and alleged  that Mustaqeem (21) and Naushad (17) were criminals who “killed two local priests and a couple.”

My son was just 17 year-old, how the police can dub him a hardcore criminal and a killer who had even not been an adult, asked Naushad’s mother.

“We are poor…illiterate. That’s why, the police take our thumb impression on one paper or the other. Our ration card, Aadhaar card and other documents were taken away by the police,” said Naushad’s mother. She said the police are at her house round the clock and do not allow anyone to meet us. “For two days we did not eat. Some neighbours came with food, but police did not allow them,” she added. She could not control her tear while narrating how police “dug graves” and threw bodies of Mustaqeem and Naushad without allowing us to perform last rites – including namaz (offer) and ablution.

“The police picked Mustaqeem and Naushad on 16 September afternoon. On 17th, the police informed the families that their men escaped from police custody. And on 20th, the  family members were informed about the encounter killing,” said Nadeem Khan of the United Against Hate (UAH), which organized the press meet. “The police narration is nothing but a pack of lies,” said Khan, and claimed that he and his colleagues were intimidated during their visit to the families in Aligarh.

“The Bajrang Dal goons gheraoed the Atrauli (Aligarh) police station when the fact-finding team members were talking with police about the encounter.” Dozens of Hindutva activists, mostly believed to be members of Bajrang Dal workers, reached there with shouting slogans to “kill all those who are supporting terrorists,” said Khan. “We somehow managed to escape from there. Later, two members of our team were charged with abducting women members of Mustaqeem and Naushad,” he said.

There are a number of contradictions between post-martem report, police theory before media and the FIR, he said. He demanded to know the locus standi of the Bajrang Dal goons inside Atrauli police station. “It seems Bajrang Dal goons and ABVP members are the central reserve police who are called whenever the state police need them,” alleged Khan.

Former and current presidents of Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU) Faizul Haque Haque and Mashkoor Usmani respectively were charged with abduction.

The press conference also addressed by noted lawyers and student leaders.JNU student leader Umar Khalid slammed the UP police. Activists, who brought the families to the Capital,have demanded a fair inquiry into the alleged encounter by a sitting High Court judge and suspension of SSP (Aligarh) Ajay Sahani and Atrauli police in-charge  Pravesh Rana.

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