In the murder of an employee of an international company by two constables, the Uttar Pradesh police have admitted that “law was violated” and “excessive force” used. The 38-year-old was shot at by one of the constables in Lucknow who alleges that he had asked the man to stop his SUV, but instead of doing so, he tried to speed away.
After the executive hit their patrol motorcycle and even “tried to run over him”, he opened fire in “self-defence”, the cop alleged.
The incident took place in the early hours of Saturday. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said they will order a CBI inquiry if needed.
The victim’s co-passenger, however, said they didn’t realise that they were being stopped by the police and when they tried to bypass them, their car hit the police bike. One of the cops had a baton, but the other one pulled out a revolver and fired, the woman said.
The policemen took Vivek Tiwari to a nearby hospital where he bled to death. The bullet hit Mr Tiwari’s chin and got stuck between the neck and the head, leading to his death due to profuse bleeding, his post-mortem report said today.
The UP police, already being criticised for the swelling number of encounters in the state, have called it a “sad incident” and clarified it “wasn’t an encounter”. Both Prashant Kumar and Sandeep Kumar have been arrested and a case of murder has been filed against them.
“Law has been violated in this case. If the situation demanded firing of a bullet, it could have been fired at the car tyre, even then it was not right to do so. This is a shameful incident for us,” Anand Kumar, UP’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) said.
Mr Tiwari’s wife Kalpana has accused the police of being “trigger-happy”.
“When we reached there we were told Vivek had died due to excessive bleeding,” she said adding that the bullet’s angle was not even revealed to the family.
“It’s a murder,” said Tilakraj Tiwari, the victim’s uncle, “I’ve served as a police inspector, I know that a person is never shot in the neck,” he added.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Lucknow Kalanidhi Naithani said constable Prashant Chowdhary allegedly opened fire at the car on noticing “suspicious activity” and the bullet pierced through the windscreen.
According to the police, when the constable at Gomtinagar extension signalled Mr Tiwari to stop for checking, he tried to flee and hit the police bike. The cops then chased their car and one of them opened fire.
“This was not a planned shooting. They are saying that the car was stationary. Then the man backed his car and the constables perhaps felt that he was trying to run them over,” said Mr Naithani.
The situation could have been avoided, he agreed. “That’s why we have booked the constables for murder. There is a clear case excessive use of force and totally unacceptable,” he added.