UP Businessman Dies in Police Raid at Gorakhpur Hotel; FIR Lodged Against 6 Cops
The incident will be probed by SP North (Manoj Kumar Awasti), SSP Gorakhpur Vipin Tada said.
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
A First Information Report (FIR) under sections of murder was registered on Wednesday, 29 September, against six police personnel in Uttar Pradesh (UP)'s Gorakhpur after a 38-year-old businessman from Kanpur died during a late-night raid at a hotel in the city.
Previously, SSP Gorakhpur Vipin Tada had told the media that the six cops had been suspended.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be meeting with the kin of the deceased on Thursday, confirmed Kanpur DM Vishakh Aiyar to ANI.
According to news agency ANI, the businessman, identified as Manish Kumar Gupta, had been injured in the raid and was hospitalised but later succumbed to his injuries.
The incident will be probed by SP North (Manoj Kumar Awasthi), Tada said.
The raid reportedly took place after midnight on Tuesday. The FIR was registered based on a complaint by the dead businessman's wife.
Gupta and two of his friends and business associates from different cities were in the hotel room when the police raided the hotel. They said that they were in Gorakhpur to meet a common friend.
Meanwhile, the police said that Rs 10 lakh will be paid as compensation to the businessman's family, as directed by Adityanath.
What the Police Said
According to the police, Gupta died after a fall in the hotel room and maintain that it was an "accident".
In a statement, Tada said that police had gone to the hotel to conduct a check for criminals as three suspects were staying in one of the rooms.
“When the police team went there with the hotel manager, in panic, one of the men in the room fell and injured himself. After this, our men got him admitted to a hospital, where he was treated. He died during treatment at BRD Hospital," Tada added, according to The Indian Express.
Tada said that a panel of doctors will do a post-mortem and an investigation will be carried out to find out why the three men were here.
What Gupta's Wife and Friends Said
However, Gupta's wife has alleged that policemen misbehaved with her husband and assaulted him when he objected to their behaviour.
“My husband had gone to Gorakhpur for some work. He booked a room in a hotel with two others who were meeting my husband on business. They later told me that my husband was beaten very badly by the policemen," Gupta's wife Meenakshi told The Indian Express.
"My husband was murdered by the administration of Yogi and Modi ji. Now I want to ask them both, who will look after my four-year-old child," Meenakshi said.
Hardeep Singh Chauhan, one of Gupta's friends, said that he and another friend were beaten by the policemen and taken out of their room.
Chauhan said that the three of them were sleeping in the room when the the cops came to the room around 12.30 am. He added that 5-7 policemen came inside the room and asked for theirs IDs.
Gupta reportedly objected to being troubled at that time of night, after which cops started threatening and beating them, Chauhan claimed.
Chauhan was quoted as saying, "They appeared drunk. I was slapped by one of the policemen. Some of the policemen had guns. The cops then took me outside. A while later, I saw Manish was being dragged out of the room by the cops and there was blood all over his face," NDTV reported.
"After this the police took Manish to the hospital, where he died," Chauhan said.
Gupta's wife further added, "Just 10 minutes before his death, he was speaking to me and then he cut the call saying the cops are here. I believe he later called another relative saying the police were harassing and threatening him and asking him to accompany them to the police station. I want answers to how he died."
A Wife's Quest for Justice
In a video circulated on social media, the wife of the deceased, Meenakshi Gupta, is seen crying and requesting justice for her husband. She claims that a policeman murdered her husband in the hotel. She also accuses them of having cleaned the bloodstains to get rid of the evidence.
In a letter to the chief minister, Meenakshi Gupta stated that her husband was the sole source of livelihood for their family of four, including her five-year-old son and father-in-law. After his murder, she said, there was no one left to take care of the family expenses.
With no means to support herself, she requested a government job for herself and Rs 50 lakh as compensation. She also requested for the case to be shifted from Gorakhpur to Kanpur, as travelling would be inconvenient for her.
Meenakshi Gupta also requested for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry, a full-fledged investigation in the case and a proper investigation of the policemen involved.
Further she was quoted by ANI as saying:
"I will put forth my demands before the chief minister tomorrow. My handband was killed by six policemen on duty... We have not yet decided when to cremate his body."
Prominent Politicians React
Hitting out at Adityanath, former CM and Opposition leader Akhilesh Yadav blamed the incident on the "culture of encounters" in UP, the practice of which, he claimed, was started by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Bahujan Samad Party (BSP) president and former CM of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, also took to Twitter to criticise Adityanath and the BJP government. She claimed that this incident has revealed the true nature of law and order in the state. She, on behalf of BSP, demanded that justice be provided to the victim's family at the earliest.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress, also tweeted that the current UP government is an enabler to such instances. She claimed that the police is barbaric to the common folk, and soft towards criminals.
(With inputs from The Indian Express, NDTV and ANI.)
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