No Witness, No Arrest: Families of Those Killed in 2019 CAA Protest Seek Justice

It has been two years, but the case hasn't progressed, says a victim's mother.


“My son was killed on his birthday,” said the mother of 22-year-old Shahroz, who was killed during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in Uttar Pradesh’s (UP’s) Sambhal in December 2019.

Many cities in UP witnessed several deaths in December 2019, when at least 23 people were killed in different protests against the CAA.

Two of the Deceased Hailed From Sambhal

Bilal Leaves Behind Three Young Daughters

“It was Friday and Bilal had stepped out to get medicines for his daughter. It was crowded when he reached near roadways and shots were fired. Bullet hit his chin and he died on the spot,” said Mohammed Sharif, father of Bilal. “People say that the police had fired bullets.”

No arrests have been made in this case till now.

“It has been two years, but the case hasn’t progressed. My son is always in my memories. What will happen to his three young daughters?”
Shakeela Bano, Deceased Bilal’s Mother

No One Ready To Turn Witness in the Shahzan’s Killing

“It was 20 December 2019, and there were protests going on at Shankar Chouraha. Protests turned into clashes and in the ensuing firing, my son was hit by a bullet,” said Yameen, father of 22-year-old deceased Shahroz. “People took him to hospital but none of them are ready to turn witness. God knows whose bullet killed my son.”

A viral video on social media showed a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Santosh Gupta, allegedly opening firing. In a telephonic interview, Gupta refuted all the allegations. When asked for a video interview, he offered to pay money.

“We filed the final report in this case because we didn’t get any evidence. Had we got evidence, we would have filed a charge sheet.”
Chakresh Mishra, SP Sambhal

After Two Years, No Arrests, No Justice

“The investigation in both the cases of innocent deaths has become a joke. No concrete evidence has been collected in two years and both the cases are still under investigation,” said Tauseef Mohammed Khan Mikki, a lawyer.

Sambhal Superintendent of Police, Chakresh Mishra said, “Final reports in both the cases have been submitted to the court. Investigations are on, in cases where menace was created.”

The question still remains: Who killed Bilal and Shahzan?

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