Dead farmer's kin move HC for court monitored SIT probe
(Sourced from PTI)
The family of a 25-year-old man, who died after his tractor overturned at Central Delhi's ITO during the protesting farmers' tractor parade on Republic Day, moved the Delhi Court on Wednesday seeking a court-monitored Special Investigation Team probe. The petition filed by deceased Navreet Singh's grandfather enforced his right to a fair investigation, justice and to know the truth about his grandson's death.
According to the police, the man was driving the tractor and he came under the vehicle as it overturned. However, the petition said that as per eyewitness accounts, Navreet was driving past the Andhra Education Society in New Delhi when he was allegedly shot by policemen, due to which he lost control of his tractor which thereafter, collided with some barricades and overturned.
The plea, filed through advocates Vrinda Grover, Soutik Banerjee, Mannat Tipnis, and Devika Tulsiani, sought a court-appointed and court-monitored SIT probe comprising police officers with an impeccable record of professional integrity, honesty and efficiency, to carry out a time-bound investigation. It also sought a direction that the SIT shall file periodic status reports before the court to ensure a time-bound court-monitored investigation.
Despite the presence of several policemen in the vicinity, no attempts were made to provide immediate critical medical intervention to save Navreet's life. Instead, police resorted to tear gas shelling to prevent other protesters from reaching the site where the body laid underneath the tractor.
The petition claimed that no efforts were made by the Delhi Police to cordon off the site of the incident and to collect time-sensitive material evidence, which was allowed to be erased and destroyed. It alleged that no steps, as mandated under the Code of Criminal Procedure, were taken by the police after the unnatural death of Navreet to carry out inquest proceedings.
"In the face of such apathy and hostility by the Delhi Police, the body of Hardeep Singh's grandson was recovered by other farmers and later handed over to the family, who took the body to their native place in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh," the petition said.
The plea said that the entire incident was captured by multiple CCTV cameras installed in the vicinity, however, the police cited technical difficulties and did not facilitate the farmers in viewing the CCTV footage. It further said the victim's post mortem was conducted the next day at the District Hospital in Rampur but the video or x-ray reports were not shared with the family.
It said the medical/ forensic experts who have reviewed the description of injuries in the post mortem report have independently made statements opining that the injuries are consistent with firearm/ gunshot wounds and that the said injuries could not have resulted from the tractor overturning.
The petition further said that Delhi Police made public statements in haste, declaring the incident to be an accident. FIRs were registered against senior journalists who pursued the possibility of Navreet Singh's death having resulted from a firearm injury, which inspires no confidence in the petitioner that the Delhi Police would conduct a fair and honest investigation, the petition further stated.