The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the police after taking cognizance of reports of an alleged fake encounter in Muzaffarnagar.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the commission said any death caused in an encounter, “if not justified, would amount to an offence of culpable homicide”. The commission has asked the state’s chief secretary and the director general of police to respond to the notices within four weeks.

According to The Times of India, 20-year-old Irshad Ahmad was shot dead on Tuesday. While the police claimed Ahmad – who was allegedly transporting bulls with four accomplices – had fired at them, his father said he did not have a criminal record. Ahmad’s father and fellow villagers also pointed out that the 20-year-old did not know how to drive. They urged Chief Minister Adityanath to order an investigation into the killing.

In September, an Uttar Pradesh police constable had shot dead an Apple executive in “self defence” in Lucknow. Two constables have been arrested in connection with the case.