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Irshad murder case
Police gives itself clean chit
By Syed Ubaidur Rahman

Irshad flanked by his father and motherIt is more than a month since Irshad, a youth in his mid-twenties, was brutally murdered by four Delhi cops. The sole bread-winner of his family, Irshad left behind not only a seven-month-pregnant widow and a four-year-old child but also a disheartened father, ailing mother and four young brothers. 

Irshad, who owned a small shoe-factory in Jafferabad area in East Delhi, was killed following a small incident (see MG19).

The policemen accused of murdering this young man have tried to disown the responsibility. They tried to pass off the responsibility to others and even tried to give it a communal twist but everything failed as the people of the area stood together like a rock and defeated the usual Delhi police tactics. A neighbour of the deceased told The Milli Gazette that had they been carried away by the rumours being spread by the Delhi Police in the extra-communally sensitive area, there would have been an unprecedented communal backlash. This theory of communal angle being the motive behind Irshad murder has been rejected by a report published recently by a Delhi-based human rights organization Justice and Peace Commission which is backed by various Christian bodies in the capital. 

The report says that the Delhi Police is solely responsible for the killing of the youth. It also says that over the years the Delhi Police has become highly communalized and that this has resulted in several incidents of communal nature in the city. The minority communities have not been able to forget the incidents a few months back in Jamia Millia Islamia where hundreds of Delhi Police personnel invaded the campus and thrashed dozens of students causing severe injuries to a number of them (see MG6). 

The report goes on to say that the police showed extreme brutality and to add insult to injury tried to give the case a new twist. The five-member team that comprised people from different action groups including Church-backed Chetnalya also said that two personnel of UP Police also helped the four cops of Delhi Police in murdering Irshad. 
But the recently published post-mortem report of Irshad has absolved the Delhi Police in his murder case. The much-delayed report, supervised by the sub-divisional magistrate of Seelampur, rejects the eyewitness accounts of tens of people who were present when Irshad was being thrashed. Sources say that magistrate Sanjeev Mittal in his report has said, ‘Irshad was suffering from some chronic disease and when the scuffle between police and Irshad took place, the later received a severe stroke and died.’
Eyewitnesses refute this version. An eyewitness who saw the whole drama told The Milli Gazette on the condition of anonymity that Irshad was a very healthy person and it is unlikely that he could have died of a stroke.

Irshad’s relatives allege that people who witnessed against the police in the court are being threatened by the authorities. Pawan Jain, a young man of the area who witnessed against the police in the case is one such person who is being harassed by the authorities in different ways. Irshad's mother says that Jain has withstood all the pressures so far and has acted like her own son. He has also assured her that he will never withdraw despite all these pressures. 
Irshad’s elderly mother, Aisha, who is hit hard by the incident, says that she will never forgive the police who killed her innocent child. She adds in tears that he was her best child and was adorned by all. She told this correspondent that only a few days before his death he had completed the formalities to send her, his father and his grandmother to Makkah for Haj. She wonders what would have happened to her family had any police personnel been harmed by her son? She also says that he never had any quarrel with anyone. His neighbours confirm this too. His brother adds that it was the first occasion when Irshad, who had enrolled his four-year-old child in a school, had gone to fetch him from his school. Earlier, it were his other brothers who used to bring his child from school. 
In the meantime, the human rights group which published the report on Irshad are reluctant to give any copies of the report to anyone. It seems that they have been pressurized by some quarters not to go too far. A senior human rights activist who was in the forefront in producing the report told this correspondent on the condition of anonymity: yes some of our members have been threatened. It is not a big puzzle to guess who would be threatening them. 
On the other hand, two of the policemen accused in the case are still to be traced. The other two accused namely Vijay Kumar a sub-inspector and Swatantra Kumar, a constable, who were arrested earlier are behind bars. They are in Tihar Jail. Vijay Kumar was sent to hospital following a scuffle in the jail when another inmate injured him using a blade.

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