An Uttar Pradesh policeman allegedly shot dead a tech company’s executive in “self defence” in Lucknow on Saturday morning, after the man’s car rammed into the officer’s bike. Constable Prashant Kumar who fired at the car, and his colleague Sandeep Kumar, have been arrested, reported the Hindustan Times.
The incident took place around 1.30 am in Gomtinagar extension area when Vivek Tewari did not stop his car after he drove it into a police patrol motorcycle. Tiwari was injured on the neck after the constable fired at the car’s windshield. He later succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
Tiwari’s former colleague Sana Khan was also with him in the car. After the shootout, Tiwari rammed his car into the pillar of a bridge. It is yet to be ascertained if Tiwari was drunk.
“The constable fired in self defence believing that some criminals were inside the car as the victim tried to flee after hitting the patrol bike,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani. “We are yet to be sure if the man died due to bullet or head injury. We will take necessary action after autopsy report is out” he added, according to NDTV.
Constable Kumar also said that he opened fire in self-defence. “We saw a suspicious car,” he said. “The lights were off. When we reached the car, whoever was inside it started the car immediately. We parked our bike in front of the car. He hit our bike. I waved at him to stop but he reversed the car and hit us again. We asked him to come out. But he reversed for the third time and hit our bike with full force. I fell and then got up. I drew my pistol to scare him. When he tried to run over me, I had to shoot in self-defence.”
“The bullet was shot by mistake,” Kumar later told ANI. “He hit me with his car and drove over me three times with the intention to kill me. I demand that my FIR must be registered. It’s being said that CM has told that our case will not be registered. Is there no value of our lives?”
Director General of police OP Singh said the initial inquiry suggests that Kumar went beyond the limit of self defence. He added that the case of murder has been filed. “[The] constable said that he did it under self defence cover but self defence can’t exceed the threat perception and we got a case lodged,” Singh told ANI. “It is a pure crime.”
Tiwari’s co-passenger Khan alleged that the police waylaid them. “Sir [Vivek Tiwari] didn’t stop the car,” she said, according to NDTV. “We didn’t realise who they were. There was no accident. We were trying to leave from the side. We hit the bike but they had already gotten off the bike. One of them had a lathi [baton]. The man in the front just pulled out a revolver and fired.”
‘Not an encounter’
Tiwari’s wife Kalpana Tiwari said the police had no right to shoot. Tiwari’s brother asked if he was a terrorist that the police shot at him. “We choose Adityanath as our representative, we want him to take cognisance of the incident and also demand an unbiased CBI inquiry,” Vishnu Shukla told ANI.
Chief Minister Adityanath has said it was not an encounter, ANI reported. “An investigation will be conducted in this incident,” he said. “If needed, we will order a CBI inquiry.”
Kalpana Tiwari wrote to Adityanath on Saturday demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry, compensation of Rs 1 crore and a job in the police department, according to ANI.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said a special investigation team led by the inspector general of Lucknow has been set up. “They will submit their report at the earliest,” he told ANI.
Deputy Chief Minister KP Maurya said investigation was under way. “If an innocent person has been killed by the police, probe will be done. Actions will be taken against those found guilty.”
State minister Ashutosh Tandon said orders have been given to rewrite the First Information Report. The district magistrate of Lucknow has ordered a magisterial inquiry. “It’s a crime,” Tandon said. “Policemen involved have been arrested [and] expelled.”
Meanwhile, state irrigation minister Dharampal Singh said there was “nothing wrong about the encounter”. Singh said people who are criminals are shot. “Justice is for everyone, the perpetrator will be punished,” he said, according to ANI.