Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hindu man killed by UP police falsely portrayed as Muslim, says family

The family of Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, who was killed in an alleged encounter by Uttar Pradesh police, has refuted claims by UP Police, BJP leaders and media that he was a Muslim.

The police had falsely claimed that Chaudhary, a Hindu man, had converted to Islam and changed his name to Usman, alleged his family. His wife Suhani has called this a deliberate and blatant lie.

The Uttar Pradesh police had initially referred to Vijay Kumar Chaudhary as Usman and claimed that he may have converted to Islam. However, the family has denied this, stating that he was named Vijay and was a Hindu.

Prashant Kumar, Uttar Pradesh’s additional director general for law and order, first referred to Vijay Chaudhary as Usman on Monday, he later told Aaj Tak that the possibility of Vijay Chaudhary having converted to Islam is being probed. “Why else would a common person change his name?” he said.

Chaudhary’s wife, Suhani said that her husband’s name was not Usman and that he is being deliberately portrayed as a Muslim. “He is not Usman. They [the police] are lying. They are doing this deliberately. Everyone, including those in this village know what the name is. How did we become Muslims? He m was made a Muslim,” Suhani told UP Tak.

Several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including BJP MLA Shalabh Mani Tripathi, former media advisor to Adityanath, and Priti Gandhi, as well as the party’s youth wing National Secretary Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, had also referred to Chaudhary as Usman in their tweets.

Several media outlets, including the Hindi-language newspapers Amar Ujala and Dainik Bhaskar and the RSS-affiliated magazine Organiser, had also highlighted his name as Usman in their headlines, causing outrage among Chaudhary’s family and the public.

Chaudhary, who allegedly shot a key witness in the 2005 murder of former Bahujan Samaj Party legislator last fortnight, was killed in “an encounter” with the Uttar Pradesh police on Monday.

Umesh Pal, the witness, died in a shoot-out in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, on 24 February.

Chaudhary’s killing is the second extrajudicial killing in Umesh Pal murder case.

In an alleged encounter in Prayagraj on 27 February, the Uttar Pradesh police killed Arbaz, who they claim drove the vehicle used by Umesh Pal’s murderers.

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