Munfaid Hussain was shot dead on September 16, 2017, in Khadkhadi village in Haryana’s Nuh district. The incident point towards more investigations and shocking revelations about the usual police 'drama' of fake encounters in north Indian states.
A day before the murder, Munfaid was called to meet the police officials and was asked to carry out their work luring him of dropping all the false charges of rape against him. His family members including his father alleges that the officials then shot him dead. The family also says that the police even attempted to remove the bullets from the body of the deceased before the post-mortem which they had objected to. A fact-finding team to probe the police encounter was sent by an NGO, Citizens Against Hate (CAH) and members of Quill Foundation, when Munfaid’s murder news reached the media. The team found that the murder was undoubtedly, a fake encounter. The fact-finding team has demanded arrest of the police officials involved, adoption of formal procedures based on the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court related to the investigation of police encounters and police protection as well as compensation to the three eyewitnesses and family members of Munfaid.
The report of the fact-finding team consists of yet another shocking revelation. About fifteen Muslim youth have been killed in the Nuh district alone in eleven fake encounter cases in the past few years. The report paints a picture of police extremism and hounding of minorities carried out in the far and distant villages in north India. Manohar Lal Khattar, an RSS pracharak is the present Chief Minister of Haryana. The tragic incident in which a teen Junaid Khan was lynched by a mob of cow protection vigilantes on the eve of Eid also took place in the same state. Similar forms of violence have become rampant in the villages of Haryana. The encounter killing of Munfaid is the latest in the string of attacks.
The reports from Uttar Pradesh related to encounter killings also shock those believing in democracy. Even the official statistics released by the police reveal that more than four hundred encounters have taken place within six months since Yogi Adityanath took charge as the Chief Minister. According to the figures, 19 people have died including 18 ‘criminals’ and two policemen while eighty-eight policemen suffered injuries in the 431 counters between March 19 and September 18, this year.
Even the responsible police officials themselves tweets on the social media about these glorious acts of courage by the policemen. A regional newspaper had fervently titled a story related to the encounter killings as Abh tak atarah (eighteen till now). It’s the responsible police officials who post on social media praising the glory of the police force who track down the criminals. It’s when the laws to curb the criminals already exist that the UP police moves ahead with the work of eliminating them through encounters. One could easily assume who would be considered as criminals in a police establishment under the control of the RSS.
It’s the party the president of which is a person who was arrested in a fake encounter case that rules the country today. It is therefore no surprise that such fake encounters being a part of the everyday activity of the police in states where the party is in power. Even the media turning to glorifying such attacks is highly precarious. The police who follow the Sangh Parivar ideologies fails to comprehend the language of the Judiciary. Besides being responsible, the human rights organisations and related platforms should therefore be alert as well. It’s the democracy that’s being shot dead in front of our eyes.