Muzaffarnagar Riots Case: Key Witness Killed Days Before Hearing
A man, who witnessed the killing of his two brothers during the Muzaffarnagar riots, was shot dead at Khatauli.
A man, who witnessed the killing of his two brothers during the Muzaffarnagar riots, was shot dead at Khatauli in UP’s Muzaffarnagar area, police said on Wednesday, 13 March.
The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and its adjoining areas in August and September 2013 had claimed more than 60 lives while over 40,000 people were displaced.
Ashfaq, a witness in the case, was shot dead in Khatauli on Monday, Circle Officer Ashish Kumar said.
Eight people are facing trial for allegedly killing Ashfaq's brothers and the next hearing was scheduled for 25 March.
Police are examining CCTV footage to identify the shooter, Kumar said, adding that Ashfaq was killed when he was going to deliver milk.
He had witnessed the killing of his two brothers – Nawab and Shahid – during the riots and earlier, had also been threatened with dire consequences if he did not withdraw his case, police said.
Reportedly, Ashfaq had also sought police protection following the threats.
The Times of India reached out to Ashfaq's father, Akhtar. He said that he had fled his village after the 2013 riots that killed two of his three sons.
Akhtar said that his third son Ashfaq had seen his brothers being killed in front of his eyes and was under constant threat.
"For me, the riots are still on," he told TOI, further suspecting that the murder was connected to the ongoing trial.
He said that they wanted to compromise but Ashfaq never agreed to it.
(With inputs from The Times of India and PTI)
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