Who killed 30-year-old farmer Munfaid? Father alleges it was Haryana police
Munfaid, a resident of Khadkhadi village in Haryana’s Nuh district, was found dead in mysterious circumstances on 16 September on the Tauru-Nuh road.
A farmer belonging to the Meo community, Munfaid was just 30 and he is survived by his wife, a 3-year-old daughter and his parents. His father Islam Hussain and a civil society group called Citizens Against Hate, which sent a fact-finding team to Nuh, have alleged that Munfaid was killed in A fake “encounter” by CIA (Crime Investigation Agency) staff of the Haryana police.
CIA staff are crime investigation units of the Haryana police crime branch. Normally, each district has several CIA units headed by a sub-inspector or assistant sub-inspector. Locals allege that CIA Staff often act in a biased manner against minority and migrant communities. The website of the Faridabad crime branch says that the main purpose of CIA staff is to tackle crime by Bangladeshi migrants and “arrest illegal Bangladeshi immigrants” which indicates that the unit does indulge in social targeting.
In a written complaint to the police, Islam Hussain narrates that on the evening of 15 September, his son called him and his father-in-law Khurshid to village Dekadi in Nuh. There Munfaid told them that CIA staff members namely, Vikrant, Shakti Singh, Satish and Siddharth had called him to Rewari to meet them, and told Munfaid that they will close all the false cases registered against him if he does some “work” for them.
“Khurshid and I advised him to do whatever they were asking him to do, if it helped us get rid of daily harassment by the police,” Islam Hussain narrates.
That was the last time Hussain saw his son. The next morning, Islam Hussain was informed that his son had been shot dead at Kala Pahad ki Ghati on the Tauru-Nuh Road between 2 am and 3 am. He went to the Nuh Hospital mortuary and identified the body of his 30-year-old son.
In his complaint, Islam Hussain has alleged that the above named officials of the Haryana Police CIA conspired and murdered his son.
Curiously, the FIR lodged by the police, is not based on the complaint given by the victim’s father. Rather it is based on the statement given by one Inspector Mastana belonging to CIA Staff, Nuh. The FIR bearing No. 0358, dated 16.09.2017, filed at 10.39 am, in PS Tauru, District Nuh, has been filed against “unknown accused persons”.
The FIR states that Inspector Mastana came across a white pick up truck (registration number of the truck has not been mentioned in the FIR) in the middle of the road at Tauru Ghhati where an unidentified person was grievously injured. The victim was taken to Nalhad Hospital, Nuh, where he was declared dead. It was found that the person was shot in his neck by unknown people. The CIA Staff contacted the police station, and the FIR was registered.
The police later included Islam Hussain’s complaint in the police station’s general diary and said it would attach it to the FIR.
The Mewat police have assured that it would probe Munfaid’s killing and examine all facets of the case, including Islam Hussain’s complaint.
Fact finding report
Citizens Against Hate sent a fact finding team to Nuh on 17 September. The members of the fact finding team met Islam Hussain and Khurshid and visited the scene of crime. Here are some of their findings:
● The residents of village Rozkemeo informed the fact finding team that Munfaid was accompanied by two friends when he went to meet the police officers. They saw Munfaid being shot by the police. The eye witnesses informed the residents of the village that the police officers came in a green Bolero Car which stopped right in front of their vehicle. Munfaid who was sitting in a car with two other friends was shot at by the officers. The friends, scared for their own lives ran away from the spot and informed the villagers about the murder. The residents of the village also informed the fact finding team that the eye witnesses haven’t yet given a statement to the police and are currently in hiding as they are scared for their lives.
● According to Islam Hussain, the victim’s father, Munfaid was in constant touch with the police officers regarding a “false case” of rape that had been filed against him. He further stated that Munfaid from time to time, on the instruction of the police officers, used to carry out some work for them. On the evening of 15 September 2017, the police officers were constantly calling Munfaid, asking him to do some work for them in return for removing out his name from the case against him. Khurshid, the father-in-law of the deceased, mentioned the names of Vikrant and Shakti Singh and alleged that Munfaid had even given one of them Rs 2000 a few days back to get his name removed from the case.
● The residents of village Rozkemeo informed the fact finding team that the police had first taken Munfaid to Nalhad Medical College Hospital, Nuh. It was here that he was declared dead by the doctors. Thereafter, the police pressured the doctors there to conduct a post-mortem. However, the doctors in Nalhad Hospital refused to conduct a post-mortem on an unidentified body, because as per procedure, the post mortem on an unidentified body can be conducted only after 3 days. Thereafter, the police took the body to Community Health Centre, Nuh for post mortem. The doctors at CHC Nuh also refrained from conducting the post mortem and the police had to call a doctor from Palwal to conduct the post-mortem.
● Munfaid’s father has alleged that the doctor and the police officers were trying to tamper with the dead body. He saw them tearing the clothes present on Munfaid’s body and trying to remove something from his body. When he objected, he was abused and asked to leave the room.
● The victim’s father at around 3:00 PM gave a written statement to the police, wherein he has named 6 CIA Staff members. The SP, Mewat, assured him that an FIR will be lodged on the basis of his statement. When the fact finding team met Islam, he was not sure if his statement had been converted into an FIR.
● Residents of Sonkh village, which is located near the site where body was allegedly found by police, said that on the night of 15 September, a Bolero with police lights had rushed past the village in the direction of the alleged site of the incident just after midnight. The next morning between 6-7 am a PCR vehicle had also gone in the same direction.
Nuh is situated in the Mewat region, where violence against Muslims by right wing forces has become endemic. Right wing vigilantes reportedly often act in collusion with the police and local administration.
According to Citizens Against Hate, there have been a number of “encounters” of Muslim youth from Nuh and Faridabad districts of Haryana. These are mostly on the suspicion of them being criminals. Some of the killings took place in UP even though the victims are from Haryana.