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Sitapur killings: NHRC urged to take action after threats to victims' kin to withdraw case

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LUCKNOW: The kin of Lomas Chauhan and Zubair who were killed in an alleged encounter, are allegedly being threatened and forced to withdraw the case against policemen.

Even as NHRC probe is on, Chauhan's son Pooran alleged that he was picked up by police in a SUV from his house on September 27, 2019. The deceased's brother Jagdish loded a complaint with the district magistrate and SP.

Jagdish says that he is being threatened and asked to withdraw his case for registrating FIR under section 156(3) from the CJM's court, and pressure is also being put upon him to change his statement in the human rights commission as well as before magisterial panel.

It was on the night intervening June 27 and 28 when police had claimed that they killed Lomas Chauhan, a resident of Sitapur and Zubiar, son of Abbas, also a resident of Sitapur. After the killings, their kin made a written complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The NHRC registered a case on July 9 this year and asked its DG to conduct probe, seek information and present report within eight weeks. When commission has sought info and asked SP Sitapur to take action, the threats to victim's kin are extremely serious, says Rajeev Yadav, the general secretary of Rihai Manch.

"We urge the NHRC to take urgent action in view of the seriousness of the issue so that the victim's kin feel safe". Human rights activist Rust m Qureshi who had complained about the killings, said that it was a fake encounter--three persons were picked up from different places in Rampur Mathura (Sitapur) including Lomas, Zubair and Chhannu Lal, son of Ram Sahay.

While Lomas and Zubair were killed within two hours, there was no ifnormation about Chhannu Lal's whereabouts and his brother wrote a letter to SP Sitapur. Later, he was produced in the court. Rustam says that there are major discrepancies in FIR and the facts. The Rihai Manch has demanded that policemen who are putting up pressure on victim's kin must face action and in view of threats to withdraw case, families must be provided safety.

It has also said that the police officials and personnel accused in the case should be kept suspended as long as inquiry is on, so that they are not able to misuse their position and influence-threaten the families. Lomas-Zubair belonged to families of poor agricultural labourers and kin must be given Rs 25 lakh each as interief compensation so that they can take up the case properly. [Photo is for representative purpose]