More than six months after the video of police personnel thrashing five youths lying injured on the side of a road and forcing them to sing the national anthem during the Delhi Pogrom surfaced, an officer of the Delhi Armed Police has been questioned in connection with the incident, according to an Indian Express report. One of the victims, 24-year-old Faizan, succumbed to his injuries later.
The video showed a group of policemen assaulting five men who were lying on the floor and writhing in pain, and making them to sing the national anthem and ‘Vande Mataram’. Faizan was admitted to the LNJP Hospital. Dr Kishore Singh, medical director of the hospital, had said, “he was admitted to the neurosurgery ward on February 25 and died three days later. He had suffered gunshot wounds and was critical.”
According to Amnesty India, Faizan was detained by the police for close to 36 hours without any charge. He was handed over to his mother at 1 AM on 26 February after his condition deteriorated. The police refused to give any paperwork to the family to show that he had been detained.
According to the Indian Express, the Crime Branch’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding Faizan’s death was helped by another video, shot from afar. In this video, the investigators noticed that one of the policemen was carrying tear smoke munitions (TSM).
The Indian Express report says whenever any force goes out for deployment, personnel are issued TSM under their name from their units. “The investigating officer checked the register of forces from outside the area to verify entries made while issuing TSMs that day. On the basis of the footage and one of the entries, they identified personnel posted with the DAP,” the newspaper reported.
This officer was called in for questioning by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) but he claimed he was not involved. Further investigations are underway, the newspaper was told by a source.
The investigators believe that the policeman who was called in for questioning also shot the video of the men lying on the ground. The other video, shot from afar, shows that at least six policemen were part of the group.
“Despite multiple video evidence, the Delhi Police had denied that they tortured Faizan or unlawfully detained him, the lack of investigation into the torture and subsequent death of Faizan signals towards the multiple violations committed by the Delhi Police that remain to be investigated,” the Amnesty report added.