August 21, 2016 3:24:57 am
Two months after his police security cover was withdrawn, a 55-year-old man was shot dead, while his cousin was injured, in Muzaffarnagar district on Friday. The deceased, Krishnapal, was a complainant in the murder case of his elder son, who was killed last year over a rivalry with another family during panchayat elections in the village. His injured cousin is the prime witness in the case. The incident occurred when Krishnapal, his brother Mahak Singh and cousin Madan were returning home on a motorcycle. When they were about 2 kms from their village, three youths on a motorcycle fired at them from behind.
Krishnapal was hit twice in the stomach and head, Madan suffered a bullet injury in the abdomen, but Mahak escaped unhurt. Locals rushed the two to the hospital, where doctors declared Krishnapal dead. The assailants escaped. Pravesh, Krishnapal’s younger son, is now fighting a lone battle for justice for his elder brother and father. He filed a police complaint against three people, one of whom, Harender Singh, is also an accused in his elder brother Ashwani’s murder case, after which the Shahpur police station registered an FIR.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, he said, “My father was provided security cover last December after panchayat elections, but later, it was withdrawn. A few days later, the cover was reinstated, but then withdrawn again. A month and a half ago, a police gunner deputed to protect my father was removed. Since then, he had been regularly approaching senior police officials and administration, requesting them to provide him with security as he feared for his life. He had even applied for a firearm license ,which was pending with the district administration,” said Pravesh, who was provided a gunner after Krishnapal’s death. He added that his father had been especially worried after Harender had gotten out on bail.
SSP Muzaffarnagar Deepak Kumar claimed that Krishnapal himself had asked the police to take back the gunner, stating that he would utilise their services only when required. This “settlement” was done “orally” between local police and the victim, said Kumar. Security cover is given or withdrawn by a committee comprising administrative officials, police officers and the SSP himself. Girish Chand Tyagi, SHO of Shahpur police station, gave a different explanation.
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“Krishnapal’s security was withdrawn after an FIR was lodged against him about a month and a half ago for allegedly assaulting the manager of a private school over some dispute. The complainant had claimed that Krishnapal had harassed him in the presence of police security,” he told The Indian Express. Heavy security has been deployed at Barwala village after the attack.
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