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No Religious Angle or Conspiracy in 2018 Hapur Lynching Case: UP Police to Supreme Court

File photo of the lynching victim being dragged in Hapur last year.

File photo of the lynching victim being dragged in Hapur last year.

The affidavit by Hapur SP Yashveer Singh also rejected the element of conspiracy or a common intention by assailants in fatally attacking 45-year-old meat trader Qasim Qureshi on June 18 last year.

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh police have told the Supreme Court that there was neither a ‘religious’ angle nor a conspiracy in the 2018 Hapur lynching case, in which a man from the minority community had lost his life in an attack allegedly by cow vigilantes.

In its latest affidavit, the special investigation team (SIT) has emphasised that “the incident had not occasioned on the basis of religious feelings, and no evidence indicating the same has so far been brought on record either by way of oral evidence or by means of documentary evidence.”

The affidavit by Hapur Superintendent of Police Yashveer Singh also rejected the element of conspiracy or a common intention by assailants in fatally attacking 45-year-old meat trader Qasim Qureshi on June 18 last year.

“The facts of common intention or that of hatching a conspiracy are not reflected even in the First Information Report (FIR). No fact could be revealed to point out the issue of common intention or conspiracy during the course of the investigation,” read the affidavit, justifying its chargesheet filed in the trial court in which no charge under criminal conspiracy had been invoked.

The SP, who is in-charge of the investigation under the supervision of the inspector general of Meerut zone, also informed the top court that departmental inquiry against the circle officer and two inspectors have been closed since the police personnel were “not found delinquent in any manner whatsoever” in connection with the fateful incident.

These three officials were accused of pressurising witnesses in the case to paint it as an incident of road rage instead of a hate crime.

The SP’s affidavit has been filed in response to a plea by Samiuddin, who was with the deceased at the time of the attack and survived it.

Alleging laxity and bias in the investigation, he had moved the Supreme Court for a further probe into the incident, besides demanding that an officer from outside the state be included in the SIT.

The affidavit, however, rejected all the accusations and blamed Samiuddin to twist the facts to mislead the court while claiming that the police conducted an “unbiased, free and independent investigation with no attempt to save the accused persons”.

It shot down the demand for inclusion of an officer from outside the state, saying the “officers of the state government are competent enough to bear any extra pressure or influence in discharging of their normal official duties.”

The affidavit added that the bail was granted to the accused under the discretion of the trial judge and the police were not to be blamed if the court declined to cancel the bail on their request.

“Every effort will be made to ensure that the accused persons are suitably punished on completion of the trial proceedings,” it said.

On Tuesday, a bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, declined to issue directives to the SIT for continuing its probe to file a supplementary chargesheet.

Taking note of the fact that trial has already begun in Hapur court, the bench asked Samiuddin to approach the trial judge with suitable application.
first published:May 28, 2019, 17:40 IST