Haryana: Villagers clash with police in Nuh over death of 24-yr-old after ‘brutality’

Police refute allegations, say a group of goons misleading the victim's family to give it a “communal angle”

Violence erupted in Punhana of Nuh on Saturday with scores of agitated villagers from Jamalgarh clashing with security personnel and setting some vehicles on fire over the death of a 24-year-old in what the protesters alleged was a case of ‘police brutality’.

Tension continued to grip the area till late Saturday evening, with shops downing shutters, and an agitated mob moving around in the streets, armed with sticks and iron rods in their hands.

Villagers of Jamalgarh, Nuh, said they were forced to protest after a 24-year-old man — identified as Junaid, a painter by profession — died at his home on Friday night, 12 days after he had been detained by the Faridabad police for questioning for a few hours. Police officers told The Indian Express, “After finding that Junaid was a kidney patient, he was released within two hours of his detention. Two of his brothers were arrested in the same case, for which his role too was being probed”.

Villagers alleged Junaid was picked up by Faridabad police on May 31 and tortured in custody, due to which he succumbed on Friday night. Junaid’s pictures, with his legs and feet, allegedly swollen, went viral on social media with people demanding justice for him.

Villagers had kept Junaid’s body in a tractor trolley and initially blocked the road near their village, demanding stern action against police personnel. However, when they did not get any attention, the agitators went to Hodal highway near Punhana and staged a blockade.

The Nuh police soon reached the spot asking villagers to clear the highway, leading to heated confrontations with police personnel, which soon boiled out of control. An agitated mob soon after went on a rampage and damaged police vehicles.

Contacted, the Haryana Police, vehemently refuted allegations of torture and said a handful of villagers were misleading the family and trying to give the entire incident a “communal colour”.

“A case of online fraud was being probed since November 2020. The prime accused was Sonu, a resident of Tilpat. On May 31, based on a tip-off, six men — Shahid, Parvez, Wasim, Junaid, Asif, and Nadeem — were rounded up from Juraida mod, police station-Punhana. Out of these, Shahid was found involved in the case. He was arrested. The rest, including Junaid, who we later found was a kidney patient, was released and handed over to one Junior Engineer Azad (a village sarpanch) in the presence of ASI Javed, a resident of Mewat, posted in Faridabad. On further investigations, Azad and Irshad, both brothers of Junaid, along with another accused Asgar, were arrested,” a senior Haryana police officer told The Indian Express.

The officer added, “In fact, Nai and Jamalgarh are the two villages that are emerging as epicentres of cyber frauds. The entire incident is being given a communal colour by a bunch of goons, who are spreading lies to cover up their own crimes”.

However, Kamruddin, a village sarpanch of the area, said, “Junaid is around 24-years-old. Faridabad police had picked him up on May 31, tortured him in custody, and then released him the next day. Junaid had no role in the case but was still picked up by the police. He is married and has a son. Villagers blocked the roads because we want the district administration should punish the guilty police personnel and give us justice.”

Another villager, Imdad added, “Junaid was mercilessly tortured. He died on Friday at around 11.30 pm. There are several injury marks on his body. Police personnel who tortured him must be arrested, and a case be registered against them. They should be punished”.

Junaid’s uncle Suleman claimed that Junaid was going to Rajasthan with four others to attend a friend’s wedding on May 31 he was intercepted. They were stopped by the Faridabad Police on the border and taken to the police station. Faridabad police had intercepted the vehicle as one of the Junaid’s co-passengers was allegedly involved in some online-fraud case”.

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