By Musheera Ashraf
SAHARANPUR, UTTAR PRADESH – After a fifty-year-old Muslim man from Sultanpur area of Uttar Pradesh was found dead, the family of the slain man identified as Khursheed Ahmad alias Pappu allege that the “victim was lynched to death.”
The Police, however, has refuted the lynching angle and filed a case under IPC section 304 (Causing death by negligence).
TwoCircles.net learnt from family and friends of Khursheed that “he (Khursheed) went missing on June 22,” following which the family began the search but could not find him.
“As was his daily routine, he left home at around 5 p.m. and never returned,” Azmat Alam, a friend of Khursheed Ahmad told TwoCircles.net.
Azmat said that Khursheed was “mentally unsound and wouldn’t harm anyone.”
On the next day morning, the family searched for the missing Alam at the District Hospital Sultanpur, which Alam used to frequently visit and where he would recite Azaan (Muslim call to prayer) into the ears of newborn babies. “We came to know at the hospital that his dead body was there,” Zaheed Ahmad, brother of slain Khursheed told TwoCircles.net.
Khursheed’s family claims that the hospital authorities told them that “he (Alam) was brought in by a person named Anshuman Pandey and that it seemed like a case of murder.”
On enquiring further, an ambulance driver informed Khursheed’s family that he brought the injured Khursheed from the Public Works Department (PWD), near Bank of Baroda, which is nearly 2 kilometres away from the victim’s home and 1 kilometre away from District Hospital Sultanpur.
Talking to TwoCircles.net, Lal Ji, the ambulance driver who had brought the injured Khursheed to the hospital, confirmed the family’s claims.
He said that on June 22 he was sitting outside the hospital when a motorcycle-borne man approached him and told him to accompany him to ferry an injured person to the hospital.
“I went with him and picked up the injured man at the PWD site near Bank of Baroda. He was in a bad condition and drenched in blood but still alive,” the driver said.
Lal Ji said that “they were three men in total.”
“While the two went away on a motorcycle, I followed the third one, who was also on a motorcycle, to the hospital,” he added.
As per police and family, the person who dropped injured Khursheed at the hospital was Anshuman Pandey. “Anshuman Pandey’s name is mentioned in the hospital register. The police told us he is the brother of Himanshu Pandey.”
Lal Ji, the driver, said that all three men are “unknown to me.”
Soon after they found the body of Khursheed at the hospital, the family approached police at Thana Kotwali Nagar in Sultanpur, who told them, “the incident happened inside the PWD Garha Khurd, Sultanpur.”
“The police told us that they checked the CCTV footage installed at PWD area and the person who killed him is Himanshu Pandey,” Zaheer said.
Zaheer said that he was asked by the police to file an application accusing Himanshu Pandey of killing Khursheed, which he did.
Khursheed’s family and friends are demanding the CCTV footage, which the police said implicates Himanshu Pandey as the accused. “We want to see the footage. We are sure that more than one people are involved and this is a lynching case,” Khursheed’s friend Azmat said.
The family demands the police should file an FIR under IPC section 302 (murder) as they say “he was lynched.”
Khursheed’s younger brother Anwar told TwoCirlces.net that, “He was beaten mercilessly and was lynched because of his Muslim identity.”
Khursheed’s late father Taufeeq Ahmed was in the Rajputana Regiment of the Indian Army. “His father was part of the Army operations between 1965 and 1971. Unfortunately, the son of an army man who served his country tirelessly was mercilessly lynched,” Azmat said.
Confirming the incident, the Station House Officer of Thana Kotwali Sultanpur Sandeep Kumar told TwoCircles.net that, “victim died due to beating by one Himanshu Pandey, who has fled away.”
According to the FIR filed by the police, a copy of which lies with TwoCircles.net, the police states that during the investigation, “it was found that the victim was severely beaten on the evening on June 22 by one Himanshu Pandey at a PWD site, near Bank of Baroda.”
“The victim was critically wounded which caused his death,” the FIR reads.
SHO Kumar said that the accused was spotted through the CCTV footage at the PWD site. “We are trying to catch him,” Kumar added.
At the time of filing this report, no arrest has been made in the case.
Searching for truth
A week into his killing, Khursheed’s family are awaiting answers for why he was killed, which they say “will be confirmed by the post-mortem report.”
“The post-mortem report has come but we have not received it yet. The report is with the police and they told us that report mentions three head injuries leading to his death,” Anwar said.
The killing of Khursheed has jolted his family.
Although being mentally unsound, Khursheed as per his family “shared a special bond with the people who knew him.”
“He was very humorous and loving,” Azmat said.
This story first appeared on twocircles.net