A .315-bore bullet, a postmortem report indicating a shot fired from a height, and a raised arm, purportedly holding out a flag. These lie at the heart of evidence that led to the arrest of Salim, who the police suspect had shot Abhishek Gupta (22) during the communal clashes in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh, on January 26.
Salim’s brothers, Wasim Javed and Rashid, are two other first accused in the case, according to the FIR, which names 17 people. The two are absconding
Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the Kasganj clashes has included three videos related to the incident in the investigation and sent them for forensic tests.
With another video circulating widely on social media since Tuesday, showing a group of youths carrying firearms and rods and said to be marching towards the place where the clash had occurred, state Additional DG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar, without commenting on specific videos , said, “Videos related to Kasganj incident will be sent for forensic examination to check their authenticity.” These videos could be used as evidence in the court. ”
Brothers Salim, Rashid and Wasim are prominent businessmen in Kasganj, and Wasim is a member of the industrial district cell. Locals said their 50-year-old shop – Barki Cuts – is the city’s first garments shop.
Confirming Salim’s arrest, I-G (Aligarh) Sanjeev Gupta said, “He is one of the three accused in the murder case.”
Abhishek’s father, Sushil Gupta, had filed the case against the three brothers.
Before the arrest, the police also claimed to have recovered weapons from the trio’s house: a single-bore gun, a double-bore gun, and a revolver.
District Magistrate R P Singh had earlier said that there are two possibilities. “The shot was fired from above, and the house belongs to the three accused, so there is a possibility of their involvement.” A Muslim man, Naushad, was also shot on his leg, which makes it appear that someone from the Tiranga rally was also firing, “Singh said.
The basis of the arrest is the postmortem report that confirms the shot was fired from an elevated position, and a .315-bore bullet – now sent for forensic test – struck Gupta on his collarbone.
A source privy to details of the autopsy conducted by a three-doctor panel told The Indian Express, “The bullet struck him (Gupta) on the collar bone – on the left side. This allowed the .315 bore bullet to enter his body at a steep downward angle The humerus bone (upper arm bone) gave it direction.
The source added that the bullet entered the body, rupturing the lungs and the diaphragm and traveled to the right lower abdomen area, and that the autopsy team conducted X-Ray to confirm the bullet’s location.
The postmortem reportedly ended around 6pm on January 26, after which the body was handed over to the family.
An officer said, “We will run ballistics examinations to check whether the bullet was fired from one of the guns recovered (from the trio’s home).”
Videos as ‘evidence’
State ADG (Law & Order) Anand Kumar on Wednesday said that the SIT will include the videos as evidence of violence and arson, while Aligarh I-G Sanjeev Gupta countered that the videos are “not legally admissible”. He said, “How can we expect to take these videos as evidence unless eyewitnesses say they shot the video?”
The SIT got these videos from locals. The videos have footage including that of two groups arguing over ‘Tiranga yatra’ being taken through the locality, and those of violence and arson on January 26 and 27.
Additional SP, Crime (Etah), Om Prakash Singh, who is part of the SIT also said they have three videos related to the incident and are scanning them. “Two videos are of January 26. In one of them, two groups are seen in an argument In the other video, rioters are seen damaging motorcycles The third video is of rioters throwing stones and torching a shop on January 27.”
Asked about the video circulating online today, Singh said he has not come across any such video. Not willing to speak on specific videos, ADG Kumar said there are videos said to be related to the incident and the police will scan them.
The 14-second video that began circulating on social media since Tuesday purportedly shows people carrying the national flag, brandishing sticks and one person with a gun. It was suggested that the video was shot during the communal violence in Kasganj last Thursday.