23 May 2021: Unnao vegetable vendor dies after being thrashed by cops
Three cops in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao have been charged with the murder of an 18-year-old vegetable vendor, identified as Faisal Hussain. Hussain, who was the sole breadwinner in his family, died after allegedly being thrashed by cops over the violation of COVID-19 norms. According to an autopsy report, the cause of death has been identified as a head injury. Here are more details.
Death: Family says cops mercilessly thrashed Hussain
Hussain was found dead on Friday. The family's complaint states that Hussain was thrashed mercilessly at the police station in the Station House Officer's presence. Constable Seemavat then took him to the local Community Health Centre (CHC), where he died, the complaint added. Circle Officer (Bangarmau) Ashutosh Kumar said there were complaints of COVID-19 violations at the market where Hussain was picked up.
Fact: Head injury was cause of death
Earlier, the police had claimed that Hussain died of a heart attack. A post-mortem report on Saturday noted the cause of death was a head injury. It also found a severe injury behind the ear along with at least 12 contusions on the body.
Case: 3 cops charged with Hussain's murder
After the family and locals blocked a highway with Hussain's body till midnight on Friday, an FIR was filed. Three personnel—constables Vijay Choudhary and Seemavat, and Home Guard Satya Prakash—were charged with murder. When asked if anyone had been arrested, Unnao Superintendent of Police Anand Kulkarni said, "We will proceed as per the evidence present with us," according to The Indian Express.
CCTV: CCTV footage shows cops slapping him: Police
Kulkarni confirmed that he had seen the CCTV footage from the Bangarmau Police Station in Unnao and the market where Hussain was picked up. He said, "I have also seen the CCTV footage of policemen slapping him at the shop from where he was picked up. They don't hit him with sticks or anything else there."
Quote: 'Hussain collapsed when he reached police station'
Describing the footage from the police station, Kulkarni said, "It is clearly seen that when he comes to the police station, he collapses. He is then picked up. But he collapses again." "Then some police officials give him water. This whole sequence of events is recorded in the CCTV footage. In the meantime, some of his family members come," he said.
Family: Family demands Rs. 1 crore compensation, government job
Hussain's brother, Mohammad Sufiyan (21), told TIE the 18-year-old was supposed to come home after the Friday prayers but went to the shop. "Who would have thought that I would bury him today?" he asked. Sufiyan has a disability, his cousin Salman said, while his father has asthma and frequently falls ill. The family demands Rs. 1 crore as compensation and a government job.
Eyewitnesses: Eyewitness says he saw police beating Hussain
Neighbor Mohammad Laeeq (26), who is also a vegetable vendor, told TIE he saw the police beating Hussain. "They came and asked him what time it was. He replied it was 2 pm. After that, they started slapping him... I am not sure why the policemen singled him out as others were present at their shops as well," he said.
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