There are several inconsistencies in the Uttar Pradesh Police’s claims about the killing of Mohammed Saleem, an accused in several criminal cases, on March 25 at the Saharanpur Mandi, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. The police have said they had acted in self-defence after Saleem alias Ehsan shot at an officer after being stopped at a checkpost.
According to a press note issued by Saharanpur Senior Superintendent of Police Babloo Kumar, Saleem and his associate had shot at farmer Nawab Singh around 11 pm on March 24. They are also accused of trespassing, burglary and assault at Saapla Road on March 16.
Kumar had said in the press note that the police spotted two men, one of them Saleem, on a motorcycle driving into Saharanpur Mandi on March 25. But when the police followed them, the bike slipped and the men fell down, Kumar claimed. However, he did not mention in the press note that Saleem opened fire at police officials.
Saharanpur Mandi Station House Officer Muninder Singh claimed that the men fired at the police when they were asked to stop, and fled into the market around 1.30 am. He claimed there was a gunfight inside the market.
But two home guards deployed inside the market between midnight and 8 am told The Indian Express that they neither heard any gunshots nor saw any police personnel. However, Babloo Kumar claimed that no one could have known about the gunfight as the Mandi is deserted at night. “No one stays there after midnight. How will people come to know of such an encounter?” he said.
Babloo Kumar’s press note also said that Senior Inspector Sachin Sharma was injured during the shootout. But there is no medico-legal record of Sharma’s injuries at Saharanpur Government Hospital, where he was admitted. The page bearing his records has been torn from the record book. “The police took the original MLC report by mistake,” the hospital’s chief pharmacist and record keeper PS Bhutola said.
Sharma was transferred to Medigram, a private hospital. Medigram Director Ajay Singh said it was unclear whether his wounds were caused by bullets.
Babloo Kumar said the police discovered on March 24 that Saleem was involved in the Saapla Road robbery. However, the police had declared a reward of Rs 25,000 for Saleem’s whereabouts four days earlier on March 20, according to The Indian Express.
Saleem’s wife Shamim said that the police called his sister Nasreen on March 25 and told her that her brother was in a “serious condition”. However, when she saw his body and asked for it to be taken to Nasreen’s house in Roorkee, the police refused and conducted a hasty burial, Shamim said.