Apple Exec Shot Dead by Lucknow Cop for 'Not Stopping SUV', CM Yogi Clarifies It's Not an Encounter
The District Magistrate, on behalf of the UP government, has given a written assurance of a compensation of Rs 25 lakh, a government job to the next of kin and recommendation for a CBI probe.
Lucknow: An Apple store employee was shot dead by Uttar Pradesh police officers allegedly for not stopping during routine check in posh Gomti Nagar area of the city.
The incident occurred on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday when Vivek Tiwari was travelling in his car along with his female colleague in Gomti Nagar Extension. The officer on patrol duty signaled Tiwari to stop for routine check. However, 'sensing trouble', Tiwari did not stop, following which police officer Prashant Chaudhary shot at him using his service pistol.
Tiwari lost control of the car due to the firing and hit the police officer's motorcycle parked next to his vehicle, before ramming an electricity poll a few metres away. He was rushed to Lohia Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.
Senior officers of the police department rushed to the spot as soon as they came to know about the incident and an FIR was also lodged against the accused officers, following which Chaudhary and Sandeep Kumar were arrested.
Tiwari's postmortem report has also confirmed that he died due to a firearm injury from a bullet on the left side of the chin. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Speaking to media after his arrest, the accused police officer said that the deceased had tried to run him over with his car. "I tried to stop the car as it was quite late but the driver did not stop. After which he tried to run the car over me. Ultimately, I had to fire. My bike was damaged completely in the incident."
I didn’t shoot at him. The bullet was shot by mistake. He hit me with his car and drove it over me three times with the intention to kill me. I demand that my FIR must be registered: Police constable Prashant Chaudhary who shot at Lucknow resident, Vivek Tiwari. #Lucknow pic.twitter.com/lrACHnBgOi
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) 29 September 2018
However, an audio of Tiwari's female colleague, who was present in the car, narrates a different tale. The woman can be heard saying: "Two cops tried to stop the car, but sir (Tiwari) did not stop as I was with him, after which both the cops parked their vehicle in front of the car and one of them fired immediately, which hit sir. Despite being shot, he tried to drive but in the process, the police officer's bike was hit. After travelling for a few meters, the car rammed into the pole."
Reacting on the issue, chief minister Yogi Adityanath denied that the incident was an encounter and said an investigation would be conducted. Home minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Adityanath and the DGP about the incident.
Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also said stringent action would be taken against the guilty. "If an innocent person has been killed by the police, probe will be done. Action will be taken against those found guilty," he said.
The District Magistrate, on behalf of the UP government, has given a written assurance of a compensation of Rs 25 lakh, a government job to the next of kin and recommendation for a CBI probe. The family is said to have accepted the relief amount.
Meanwhile, the Apple employee's family said they would wait for the chief minister to visit their home or they would take Tiwari’s body to his residence. "My husband had called me around 1:30 am and told me he will come home after dropping his colleague as there was a launch party of a new phone," Tiwari's wife Kalpana said, questioning how could officers kill an innocent man.
"It's a clear case of murder. I've served as a police inspector; I know that a person is never shot directly in the neck or the head. Such incidents never occurred earlier. It's only happening under Yogi government," Tilakraj Tiwari, the deceased's uncle, said.
On the other hand, Chaudhary maintained that he fired a bullet in "self-defence". However, Hindustan Times quoted director general of police OP Singh as saying that the initial probe suggests Chaudhary 'acted wrongly'.
"Initial findings suggest that the constable acted beyond the limit of self defence," said Singh, adding that a fair investigation will be done. SSP Lucknow Kalanidhi Naithani said that an SIT team has been constituted to investigate the case, while the accused officers have been suspended. The SIT team will be led by IG Lucknow. SP Crime and SP Rural Lucknow will be other members of the team.
ADG law and order Anand Kumar admitted that the law had been violated. "If the situation demanded firing of a bullet, it could have been fired at the tyre, even then it was not right to do so. This is a shameful incident for us," he said, adding that the police was not trying to play down the case.
The Opposition has also latched onto the incident to attack the BJP government in the state. A delegation of Congress workers arrived at the deceased's house on directions of UPCC chief Raj Babbar.
"When the chief minister of a state is accused of murder, what else you can expect from his police? The cops have also conducted fake encounters just to increase their numbers at the behest of the government. Now, a common man has become their target. We demand strict action against the culprits and also, CM Yogi Adityanath should step forward and apologize to the family and the people of the state and accept the failure of his police," said party spokesperson Anshu Awasthi.
Echoing similar views, Samajwadi Party drew similarities between Tiwari's killing and UP encounters. "The police and state government have completely failed on their part. Had the deceased not been accompanied by his friend, this police would have framed Tiwari and would have declared him criminal just like they do in fake encounters," said SP spokesman Anurag Bhadauria.
However, CM Yogi clarified that it was not an encounter and probe was being conducted. "If needed, we will order a CBI inquiry into the incident," he said.
The incident has come days after a video showed Meerut police personnel hitting and abusing a woman in a police vehicle for befriending a Muslim man.
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