Kin refute copsí version of Faizabad death

The Faizabad administration had claimed that Mohammad Umar, who was beaten to death on October 25, was killed due to personal animosity. However, Umar's son Maroof, who was injured in the attack, and a report by the local intelligence unit (LIU) say that Umar was a victim of communal violence which began in the district on October 24.

The LIU report categorically says Umar was killed in the communal violence. Nirupa Singh, Dy SP of LIU at Faizabad, in a confidential report to the SSP on October 30 said that Umar, aged 55, was killed when a mob indulged in violence and arson in Mohalla Peelkhana of Mukeempur Pahadpur village.

However, the FIR at Inayat Nagar police station, which names 21 people for killing Umar, says he was killed due to personal enmity. Maroof says the police wrote the text of the FIR and asked him to sign it. But he admits he named the 21 persons as accused.

"We earn our living by selling small items from village to village. We never had any animosity with anyone. My father was killed in riots," Maroof told The Indian Express. He is still bedridden with injuries on his limbs, head and back.

The violence also claimed one Durga Prasad in Bhadarsa town. However, in his case, officials confirmed he died due to stabbing in the riots.

Maroof's brother Haroon, who was at home that day, said that his father Umar and brother were harvesting paddy in their field when a mob entered Shahganj around 10.30 am on October 25. People ran locked themselves in their houses. Umar and Maroof were attacked in the field, hardly 150 metre from their house.

They were beaten with rods. "All of them were from our village and adjoining villages. We know each person. They left after killing my father and assuming that Maroof too had died. Nobody dared to help. The police arrived at 3 pm and took both of them in their jeep," Haroon recalled.

The mob also burnt the house of one Mohammad Zakir and 12 shops. "We kept calling up the police, but they said there was shortage of forces as they were deputed in Faizabad and Bhadarsa," said Haroon.

Later, Haroon and his uncle Jaleel, both tailors, went to the police station where Umar was lying dead and Maroof injured. "Maroof gave the policemen the names of the attackers and narrated the incident. The policeman wrote it down and Maroof was asked to sign it," Haroon said.

According to the FIR, there was a clash between one Shakeel and Mishrilal on October 23 over a trivial issue. Since Shakeel's father Saleem used to visit Umar's house, it antagonised Mishrilal and his supporters who killed Umar on October 25. "My brother told police we had no grudge against Mishrilal," Haroon said.

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