Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Umar's murder: Rajasthan cops arrest two victims of cow vigilante attack; it's travesty of justice, says PUCL

By Our Representative
In what is being described as “travesty of justice”, the Rajasthan police have arrested Tahir Mohammad and Javed Jabaa, the two eye witnesses in the gruesome murder of Umar Mohammad, who was killed on November 11, after which his body was dumped on railway track. They have been arrested on the basis of FIR No 273/2017 for seeking to smuggle cows.
The police are said to have called Tahir, who was in hospital with a bullet wound, and Javed, who had escaped following the attack by cow vigilantes, to the police station. They were detained and then arrested. Both have been kept in police lock up.
On the day of the murder, Umar and two his colleagues were returning to their village after purchasing cattle from Rajasthan on November 11. During the incident, which took place in Alwar district, they were accosted by a group of seven men, who opened fire. Umar died on the spot, while Javed escaped. Tahir was hit, but managed to escape.
Accused of murder, two cow vigilantes – Ramveer Gurjar and Bhagwan Singh – were also arrested and have reportedly confessed to the killing and mutilating Umar’s body by placing it on the railway track. There is, however, no sign of the others, also accused in the murder, being arrest.
Well-known human rights organization, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan, condemning the arrest, said that the police wants to build pressure on these two boys, because they are key witnesses in the murder of Umar. Kavita Shrivsatava of PUCL suspects, the police is seeking to dilute the case by bargaining a deal.
“Clearly showing that the Government has given absolute impunity to the killers and they will strike again and again”, she alleges.
Calling it a “travesty of justice”, Shrivastava said, “The Alwar district police should have arrested the killers, the so called gau rakshaks, those who tried to destroy evidence. Clearly, this shows that the Government has given absolute impunity to the killers so that they can strike again and again.”
Meanwhile, in a statement, the PUCL has demanded that “the closure of FIR number 273/2017, calling it “false cow smuggling case”, insisting that “the Government of Rajasthan and its police take immediate action in the case of murder. “
In a communique, signed by Shrivastava and other PUCL office bearers, forwarded to Counterview, the PUCL said, “From the beginning we have been saying that the police have a lot to answer in this case: The firing on the pickup vehicle with Umar and others, moving the body of Umar from one area to another 15km away, brutalizing it, dismembering the head, throwing the body on the railway line, stealing the wheels of the pickup carrying the cows etc.”
It added, “By trying to foreground the smuggling case, it is putting the burden of crime and criminality on the victims. The police said that Tahir and Javed have confessed to the crime of smuggling. In the Gurgaon Ryan school case, too, the Haryana police had said that the driver had confessed, yet the criminal was another person.”
Seeking immediate transfer of the case to an SIT or CBI, and release of Tahir and Javed, PUCL said, others responsible for Umar’s murder and shootout should also be arrested, and the police in charge on the 10th November morning of Govindgarh police station, as also the superintendent of police, Alwar district, should be suspended for providing impunity to cow vigilantes for manipulating evidence.

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