The alleged custodial killing of a young Muslim man Altaf in Uttar Pradesh has triggered outrage among opposition politicians in the poll-bound state.
The state’s main opposition parties, the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party attacked the Yogi Adityanath government over yet another “misdeed” by the state’s “trigger-happy police.”
Senior Congress leader and former union minister Salman Khurshid along with other Congress leaders visited Altaf’s family on Thursday night while Hyderabad MP and AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi launched a fresh attack against Yogi Adityanath government through his party’s public gatherings.
India’s key Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted “Is there anything called human rights left in Uttar Pradesh?”
Altaf’s family has alleged that he was murdered in custody while the police claim that he hanged himself to a tap using the drawstring of his jacket hood.
The Muslim youth in Ahroli village in Kasganj, was taken into police custody on Tuesday morning in a case related to the alleged kidnapping of a Hindu girl.
Police claim he asked to go to the washroom during the interrogation, where he hanged himself using his jacket’s string which he tied to a water tap.
But the local reporters report that Altaf was about 5ft 6 inches tall and the water pipe was less than three feet from the ground.
“It is not suicide, it is a police killing. They killed my son,” Altaf’s father Chand Miyan said to Maktoob over the phone.
“My son was innocent, he had no criminal past,” Miyan said.
The family of deceased has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into his death.
“Kasganj incident is before you…Altaf’s father was told that his son died by suicide in Police station by hanging himself from a 2.5ft high water tap with the help of a string in his hoodie. Kasganj Police killed him. You don’t know to investigate but to murder,” Asaduddin Owaisi said in a public speech in the state.
As of now, 5 police officials are suspended for negligence of duty after Altaf’s death. While the police say the injuries revealed around the neck in the post mortem of Altaf are consistent with their suicide theory, there is an absence of any other evidence.
“The guilty policemen should face a murder case and must be punished,” Samajwai Party said in a statement.
Former chief ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav demanded judicial iniquity into the case.
Last December, the Supreme Court had ordered that all police stations in and investigation agencies – including the CBI, National Investigation Agency, and Enforcement Directorate, must have CCTV cameras with night vision and audio recording installed.
However, not many police stations in Uttar Pradesh have got CCTVs so far.
“Police forced to sign without informing content,” says Altaf’s father
On Thursday, Altaf’s family told reporters that they were asked to sign without the knowledge of the content written.
The police have produced a letter stating that Altaf was in depression signed by the family after they claimed that the Muslim youth killed himself.
While the letter signed by Chand Miyan states that his son was in depression and absolves the Uttar Pradesh Police of any blame for his son’s death, Miyan, a daily wage labourer, says he is illiterate and was insisted by the Circle Officer to put his thumb impression.
Another kin of Altaf has alleged that the family was offered Rs 5 lakh and a government job to claim that he suffered from depression, and they didn’t want his death investigated.