Gujarat HC issues notice to govt on police encounter killing

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the state government in response to a PIL demanding investigation into the killing of a 14-year-old boy in Surendranagar in November in an alleged police encounter.

The PIL has been filed by Sohana Malek, whose father Hanifkhan Jatlamalik aka Kalu Munno, and brother Madeen Khan (14) were killed in the police encounter on November 6 night under Bajana police station in Surendranagar district.

The boy and his father, a notorious gangster who was facing as many as 86 criminal cases, were killed in an alleged encounter by the Gujarat police. The police, however, had claimed that his son was 18-year-old.

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According to the petitioner, “The police team led by police sub inspector VN Jadeja and others came to her house in a private vehicle, dragged her father and put him in the vehicle. Looking at the atrocity, the 14-year-old brother of the petitioner went to ask why his father was dragged and followed him. Seeing this, respondent – 5 (Jadeja) shot the brother of the petitioner point blank in the chest.”

The petition is filed by advocate Vicky Mehta and is being argued by senior advocate Yatin Oza.

“On seeing his son being shot in cold blood, the father also got angry and as he came to see his child, he was also shot dead,” says the petitioner in her PIL.

“No doubt, there are many offences registered against the father of the petitioner herein i.e Hanifkhan. However, this will not give an automatic licence to the respondent number 5 to 11 to carry out a fake encounter,” the PIL further reads.

The police, however, has claimed that both the father and son, Hanifkhan, 44, and Madeen, 18, were shot while they were trying to escape from the police team. Police claimed in their FIR that they had to resort to firing after Hanif shot at the police team to resist his arrest and was being assisted by his son and others.

Police had claimed that a seven-member police team led by Jadeja had gone to the village to nab Hanif based on a specific information. Jadeja reportedly fired in self defence after being shot at and hit by a sharp weapon by Hanif’s son. One of the bullets hit Hanif in his chest while another one hit his son Madeen.

The division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri on Wednesday issued notice to the state government and sought its response by January 18. The court also asked the government lawyers to take instruction and file an affidavit accordingly.

Hanif was wanted in Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCTOC) Act for his involvement in several criminal cases of loot and theft. He was part of the Gedia gang and was named in 86 FIRs and wanted in 59 cases, police stated in its report.

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