Farmer Who Died During R-Day Violence Had No Gunshot Wounds, Police Tell HC

Delhi Police has said that according to the post-mortem report, the young farmer died due to a head injury as a result of an accident, possibly a road mishap.

Farmer Who Died During R-Day Violence Had No Gunshot Wounds, Police Tell HC

The 25-year-old farmer, who died after his tractor overturned during the protesting farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day, did not suffer any gunshot wounds, the police of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have told the Delhi High Court.

The police of the two states have made the submission relying upon the post-mortem and x-ray reports, given by the District Hospital at Rampur in UP, which prima facie state that "there was no gunshot injury in the body of the deceased".  

Delhi Police has said that according to the post-mortem report the young farmer died due to a head injury as a result of the accident and all his injuries were possible in a road accident.

The submissions have been made in response to a plea by the deceased's grandfather -- Hardeep Singh -- claiming that the victim suffered gunshot injuries to his head.

The petition, filed through advocates Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee, has sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the death of the young farmer.

The high court on Friday listed the matter for further hearing on March 4.

The Delhi Police, represented by Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, has also relied upon the footage collected from CCTV cameras located at the site -- Deen Dayal Upadhyay marg -- where the young farmer died and said that he was driving the tractor at high speed and the vehicle overturned after hitting the barricades.

It said that the footage also shows that the police personnel were running away for safety from the speeding tractor and that none of them fired upon the vehicle or the driver.

The Delhi Police has also said that CCTV footage further indicates that the protestors did not take the injured Navreet Singh to any nearby hospital and instead they attacked the ambulances that reached the site after hearing about the accident.

It said that the protestors instead of taking him to the hospital immediately, kept his body on the road for five hours and then spread rumours that he was killed in police firing.

The UP police, in its status report, has stated that no FIR has been registered by it in connection with the death as claimed by the petitioner.

"It is further submitted that there is no provision of giving the videography of the post-mortem or original X-ray plates which are medico-legal documents to the family of the deceased by the medical department," it has said in its report.

Grover, on the last date of hearing, had told the court that the way Delhi Police has conducted itself in the matter "does not inspire a shred of confidence".

She had said that the police abandoned all procedures, like carrying out inquest proceedings, conducting a post mortem and lodging of an FIR, as required under the law, even if it was a case of accidental death.

To this, the Delhi Police has said that once the cause of death was ascertained by the post-mortem report, there was no need for an inquest proceeding.

Grover had also told the court that according to a UK-based pathologist, who saw the video of the incident and also perused the post mortem report, the injuries on the victim were consistent with at least one or two gunshot wounds.

She argued that this indicated that the victim lost control of the tractor and it overturned as he was shot by the police personnel.

(With inputs from PTI)