Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said he had asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath to ensure a proper inquiry into allegations that a police constable shot at a man in Lucknow in “self defence”. Vivek Tiwari, an executive at a technology company, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. He was cremated in the presence of Uttar Pradesh minister Brijesh Pathak, local state legislator Ashutosh Tondon and others.
State police chief OP Singh said the death was a result of a “violation of the law” and “excessive force”, NDTV reported. Adityanath has said it was not an encounter and an investigation will be conducted.
On Saturday, police arrested constable Prashant Kumar and his colleague Sandeep Kumar following allegations that the former opened fire when Tiwari did not stop his car after he drove it into a police patrol motorcycle. The incident took place around 1.30 am on Saturday in Lucknow’s Gomtinagar extension area.
Singh said the constables will be treated as criminals. “The two constables are not fit to be part of the police force,” he added. A Special Investigation Team is conducting inquiries into the incident.
Additional Director General of Police (Lucknow) Rajiv Krishna Sujeet Pandey said Tiwari’s family will be given round-the-clock police protection. A Special Investigation Team under Inspector General Sujeet Pandey will be constituted, he added.
“It is an unfortunate incident and we are with the family members of the victim,” PTI quoted Pathak as saying. “We will try to fast track the case so that the family can get justice. I will also request principal secretary home and the director general of police to post sensitive policemen in big cities. We will ensure strict action against the guilty. If needed, a CBI probe will also be recommended.”
District magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said the demands of the deceased’s family will be met, reported the Hindustan Times. “If they want a CBI inquiry, then it will be initiated,” Sharma said. “His wife will be given employment and Rs 25 lakh as compensation. The inquiry into his death will be completed within 30 days.
“The government is saddened by the incident and stands with the family,” said Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who visited Tiwari’s family on Sunday afternoon. “Immediate steps are being taken to ensure similar incident does not occur in the future. We will severely punish those responsible.”
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party over the incident, ANI reported. “It is unfortunate. But what else will you expect from BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. There have been numerous fake encounters under this government,” Yadav said.
Tiwari’s former colleague Sana Khan, who was with him in the car, claimed the police had waylaid them.
Prashant Kumar later claimed he fired the bullet by mistake after the car hit him and Tiwari drove over him “three times with the intention to kill me”. “I demand that my FIR must be registered,” he said. “It’s being said that CM has told that our case will not be registered. Is there no value of our lives?”