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My husband was not a terrorist. How can police shoot him, asks dead Apple worker’s wife

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Vivek Tiwari’s family said the Lucknow police constables should have enquired or warned him before opening fire. 

Lucknow: Alleging foul play by the police, family members of Vivek Tiwari initially refused to cremate his body on Saturday seeking the direct intervention of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Tiwari, a local employee of tech giant Apple, was allegedly shot by an Uttar Pradesh police constable well past midnight on Friday in Lucknow’s Gomtinagar when he was returning home with a friend from a party. The bullet hit Vivek’s throat right below his chin.

“Why did police kill him without any warning? He was not a criminal. We want the chief minister to announce a CBI investigation into his death to ensure the strictest punishment to his killers,” said Vivek’s wife, Kalpana Tiwari.

According to officials familiar with the development, late in the evening the family agreed to cremate the body on Sunday morning after the government sanctioned a compensation of Rs 25 lakh.

The two constables, who stopped Tiwari’s car, and Sana Khan, who was with him in the vehicle, had different versions of the incident.

Khan said the constables tried to stop their vehicle when Tiwari was on his way to drop her home, and in the process the car grazed against the police motorbike parked on the road.

“Vivek moved the vehicle ahead and in the process it brushed against the motorcycle. Then one of the constables fired from the front without any warning,” she alleged.

Also read: Trigger-happy UP policeman kills Apple Store manager over altercation in Lucknow

Khan claimed she realised Tiwari had been hit only when he slumped in his seat and the car rammed into a pillar. “I came out but by then the constable had fled. As I tried to stop truckers for help, another police team reached there,” she said.

Prashant Chowdhary, the constable accused of firing at Tiwari, claimed the car was parked by the side of the road with the head lights switched off. “The driver (Vivek Tiwari) tried to run me over thrice when I asked the occupants in the vehicle to come out. I fired in self defence,” he claimed before the media. Later in the day, he changed his statement and said he pulled out his pistol to threaten Tiwari but it went off accidentally.

Tiwari’s family claimed that the sequence of events clearly showed that he had been murdered. “It was a murder. He was shot from the front,” alleged Tiwari’s brother-in-law, Vishnu Shukla.

The family members also questioned the promptness with which the constable fired on Tiwari. “My husband was not a terrorist; neither was he carrying a gun. How can police shoot at an unarmed person so easily,” Kalpana Tiwari asked senior police officials who visited her residence in the afternoon.

The accused constables reportedly told their seniors that they opened fire believing criminals were inside the vehicle. The family countered the claim that if anyone had been inside, they would have been clearly visible as the windows of the vehicle were not tinted. “All the windows of the SUV were transparent and one could easily see the occupants inside. The police constables should have at least enquired or warned him before opening fire,” Shukla said.

Also read: It is a murder, top UP cop says about Apple store manager killed by policeman

Although the SSP, Lucknow police, has ordered that the case be shifted to a special investigation team (SIT) headed by the SP (crime), family members are sceptical whether the local police will ensure a fair probe into the matter.

Kalpana Tiwari, in a letter addressed to the chief minister, demanded Rs 1 crore as compensation and a police job as per her qualification. “Vivek was the sole earner in our family. How will my children survive,” she asked.

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  1. Even if the constable had fired in self defense as claimed, it was his duty to take the accused to the hospital for treatment.
    He should have called for an ambulance, meanwhile checked the vehicle and accomplice of the accused.
    Why did the police constable run away from the scene of crime?
    He should have reported the case and registered the incident.
    It clearly is a cold blooded murder.

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