Amidst the frenzy of Delhi riots and ongoing media propaganda blitzkrieg, a body was found on 25 February 2020. The body was identified as that of a person named Parvez. On 26 February, Delhi Police, on its first FIR in the case, had written that ASI Rakesh was alerted about a body in GTB hospital, brought by a person named Nitesh. No address for the deceased person was registered and he was declared ‘brought dead’ by the hospital.
As per the police FIR, dated 26 February, the incident had occurred at 7 pm on 25 February. The FIR states that from the pockets of the deceased person, 13 live cartridges, a Nokia phone and a bunch of keys were recovered. The FIR mentions that the deceased person was found on the road going from Ghonda Chowk to Baburam Chowk. When the police searched for the ‘Nitesh’ who had brought the body, they could not trace him. The address given by this so-called Nitesh was found to be a false one.
Three methods, two places and contradictory statements by Sahil Parvez
The first FIR has mentioned that the deceased person named Parvez, (male, aged about 48 years) had died of a bullet injury. The deceased person’s son Sahil Parvez, speaking to media before his father’s funeral, stated something that contradicts his subsequent statements. Sahil stated that his area saw riots on 24 February, but on 25th, Hindus and Muslims made peace, hugged each other and apologised.
He further states that his father was standing in a bylane away from the main road when there was a sudden stampede. He turned right to go to his house and then he was hit by a bullet on his right chest. He fell on his face, and was bleeding. Sahil then says that he then took his father to the GTB Hospital. The video is linked below.
Sahil’s application to Delhi Police
Sahil Parvez had on 19 March written an application letter to the SHO Bhajanpura, with copies to the Prime Minister of India, Home Minister, Delhi LG, Human Rights Commission, the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and several organisations. Every page of the letter had the thumb impressions of Sahil.
Sahil’s March letter is completely in contrast to what he had stated to the media previously. not only the place of violence changes, the scenario, and characters are changed too. Shockingly, Sahil has also named 16 persons as the attackers who killed his father. Sahil’s letter stated that him and his father were going to offer Namaz at around 7 pm, when 16 persons, whose names were also given by Sahil, attacked them with sticks, swords, and guns and killed his father. Sahil also added that the same named persons have been threatening his family from the previous day.
Additionally, Sahil had alleged in his letter that the police abused him with filthy words regarding his religion and claimed that on-duty policemen were getting ‘his people’ (Muslims) killed. He also added that a person named Sushil Jat had abused and threatened him in front of a policeman.
On the next day, this Sushil Jat and another person named Devesh (along with their other associates) were accused of murder. Sahil writes in his letter that after the attack, he had put his father on a scooter and took him to GTB Hospital. He further claims that at the hospital, he had shown his Aadhar Card in the presence of police and in turn, was allegedly abused and threatened by the police and for accusing Sushil Jat as the attacker of his father.
Sahil further wrote that the police had deliberately written the wrong name and address while he admitted his father at the hospital. He added that he was told that his father is dead and crime branch ha threatened his family too. He adds that the accused Sushil and his friends had threatened him multiple times that the ‘whole police department is with them’.
The registered statement on April 3
On April 3, Sahil gave a statement to police. He claimed that he was dealing with the trauma of his father’s death and his mother’s illness, and had spent the days after his father’s death in his native village, hence his statement was delayed.
In his statement, Sahil has named the same street at the place of the murder, the street near his house that connects to Baburam Chowk. however, the methodology of the attack has changed here. He claims that Sushil and his associates fired bullets on Parvez saying that he (Parvez) is the root of all problems.
In this statement, Sahil states that after bringing his father home, he had put his father on a motorcycle with the help of his relatives and had taken him to the hospital. He has also added that by mistake, some Nitesh’ name and some other address got added in the hospital by his friend Shahrukh.
This is on contrast to Sahil’s letter on 19 March, wherein he had categorically stated that he was threatened by the police and the police had deliberately written Nitesh’s name and a wrong address.
Parvez was brought to the hospital in 3 different ways?
The notable issue here is that Parvez was killed, but his son Sahil has reported three different versions of bringing him to hospital, the place and manner of the attack on three occasions. On the video above, Sahil himself is stating to the media that his father was shot while standing in front of their house and going to police for help in transport, but in the nest letter dated 19 March, he has identified 16 of the attackers with names and claims that he was threatened and the police deliberately changed the name and address at the hospital.
On the April 3 statement, Sahil then adds that he had brought his father to hospital with his friend Shahrukh and it was Shahrukh who had added the wrong name and address ‘by mistake’.
What do family members of the accuses persons say?
As per eyewitness accounts of the family members of the accused persons, on 24 February, the area in North East Delhi saw violent riots by Muslims where many shops of Hindus, including the shops of several accused in the case, were broken, vandalised and set on fire by Muslims who were raising slogans of ‘Allah Hu Akbar’.
The family of accused Tyagi has stated that their house was attacked with Patro bombs by local Muslims. The mob had also reportedly set their motorcycle on fire and tried to break down their gate.
The family members of the accused persons have stated that the Muslim mob was so violent that the families had shut their doors and were inside their houses, praying for safety. They had also made several calls to police asking for help. The families have also provided the reference numbers of the calls that were received after the calls. They were being told that police teams will be sent when available and as per instructions of senior officials.
On April 8, the 16 persons accused by Sahil in his letter weer summoned by the police for interrogation at the Crime Branch office in Dwarka. They were summoned on the next day too, and since these persons were innocent, they obeyed the summons, hoping that they are cooperating with the police in its investigation into the riots, say the family members. All the accused persons had gone to the crime branch office on their own vehicles. On the night of April 9, the families were informed that the accused persons have all been arrested.
The families have also stated that on the day of 25 February, the entire area was calm and as the locals were afraid after a violent day of riots, almost all of them were indoors. They have stated that they were not even aware of Parvez’s death until they were summoned by the police. The police, in its investigation, has noted that the accused were within 500 metres of the location of the alleged crime on the day of the crime, that is 25 February.
One of the accused named by Sahil, who as per the complaint, not just kicked an injured Parvez but even revved something from his pockets, has not been arrested by the police. The reason given is, when the police traced the location of his phone, he was not in Mohanpuri, the area of the crime. Devesh has stated that he had gone to Etawah in UP to bring his daughter-in-law from her parent’s home. Devesh has also shown us the toll receipts of the highway where he went on February 23 and returned on February 27. Devesh, however, has been named by Sahil, as one of the persons who killed his father along with Sushil Jat.
The family members of the accused have highlighted another issue. By 24 February, all the street lights in the area were broken by rioters. It was winter in Delhi and darkness sets in pretty soon in the evening. Sahil, who had stated on the video that he had helped his father who had fallen face-first on the stairs in front of their house, but his later statements claim that he had seen and identified the attackers 50 feet away from his house. He had identified each ‘attacker’ by name and has even mentioned the colour of their clothes.
Parvez who was ‘going for Namaz’ had a gun and live bullets in pockets?
Sahil had alleged that Devesh had kicked his injured father and had taken something away from his pocket. Next, he has also claimed that his father’s licenses revolver is ‘missing’. It is notable here that Sahil’s 19 March claims have been changes (wrt to his media statement) in regards to the ‘place of the incident’ to match with the police’s first FIR, that Parvez was found in a road connecting Baburam Chowk. Similarly, when the police report mentions 13 bullets found in Parvez’s pocket, Sahil’s next statement of the incident mentions a missing revolver.
Sahil has mentioned in his written statements that he was going to offer Namaz with his father. It raises a question that why was a person going to offer Namaz had a live bullets (and a gun?)with him.
A person who was describing in detail to the media where exactly was his father standing and how he was shot and how exactly he fell, suddenly brings the places and mannerism mentioned in a police report in his statements to match.
His April 3 statement also removes the mentions of police where in he had earlier claimed that the on-duty policemen were abusing him and threatening him. Similarly, he also states that Shahrukh’s name was mentioned as Nitesh, while his earlier statement had explicitly mentioned that the police had deliberately written the name as Nitesh and mentioned a wrong address.
Who are the 16 accused named by Sahil Parvez?
The statements of the family members makes a pattern clear with regards to the persons named by Sahil in his letter to the police that he sent almost a month after his father’s death. Most of the accused are associated with Hindu organisations like VHP, RSS and are the only earning members of their respective families.
The families have also states that since the day of their arrest, no communication has been permitted with the accused persons by the police.
Chandrakant Maheswari, the father of accused Suprem, says that he has been living in the area for 38 years. He adds that most of the Hindu families were scared and were only focused on saving their lives during the horrific riots. He also adds that most Hindu families in the area are small businessmen who keep to themselves and lead simple lives.
Uttam Mishra’s teenage daughter died due to trauma
Shashi Mishra is the wife of Uttam Mishra, one of the 16 accused. She says the family runs a small shop. After Uttam Mishra’s arrest, his daughter, who was ill, expired in trauma and shock. The family is yet to submerge her ashes in the Ganga because Uttam Mishra has been denied bail. She said that she had to perform the last rites of her young daughter on her own.
Vikrant Tyagi says that the accused persons have been taken by the police only on the thin premise that their mobile phones were active within 500 metres of the place of the crime. He asks, “thousands of people live in the area. Are they all involved?”
They say that the ‘active mobile phones’ is the only basis the police has cited for the arrests. Due to coronavirus pandemic, the sessions judge is not available and the families are struggling for applying for bail.
Sushil’s sister Nisha’s statement
Nisha, Sushil’s sister, has stated that Sushil is the only earning member in their family. They have buffaloes and earn a livelihood by selling milk. Sushil has been accused of firing and killing Parvez.
Sandeep Chawla’s wife says he has been selling her jewellery to feed her family. For over three months now, she has not been allowed to talk or meet with her husband.
What does the police say?
Vikrant Tyagi showed us the CCTV footages from the houses and shops of the accused persons. In the footages, a Muslim man, reportedly named Haji Islam, is seen leading a mob to vandalise, damage and set fire to the shops of Hindus. The mob was armed with guns and other weapons. Bullets were being fired everywhere.
Chandraprakash Maheswari even showed us print outs of the CCTV footage. Upon being asked whey he, a private citizen is doing so much investigative work, he said, “We don’t have any other option. We have scanned individual CCTV footages from the area, identified each rioter, and made a file with all the evidence. We went to the Jaffrabad police station with all the images and details. But the police did not even file an FIR.
They were reportedly told by the police that they are not concerned with the events of the riots on 24 February at all because the murder had occurred on 25 February.
What do the families plan to do?
The families stated that they do not have enough resources to make their voices heard. There are lawyers available, but due to the pandemic, courts are not functioning properly. While we were meeting the family members, a lawyer hired by them was trying to secure bail for the accused persons. The lawyer says that on the thin premise of mere mobile phone locations, the police should not be able to keep them for long.
The families says they have faith o the countries judicial system and hope that justice will be served. In our country, where even after 22-year-long trials, the courts have opened door at 2 am for convicted terrorists, these seemingly innocent people should not have to languish in captivity. We hope that the actual murderers of Parvez are caught soon and Sahil gets justice for his father. We also hope that the people who were indoors in a crowded locality to protect their families in the riot infested area, are not prosecuted on the basis of phone locations.