The incident, caught on a CCTV camera, shows a car pulling up in the middle of a road with its left indicator blinking and a bunch of men, who turned out to be cops, swiftly surrounding it. The car then speeds away, almost hitting two cops of the special operation group.
Senior police officers, caught off guard by the shoot-out involving their men, have ordered an inquiry. Superintendent of police (SP) Shamli, Sukriti Madhav, said, “A probe has been ordered. We are trying to verify if the firing was intentional or unintentional.
Looking at the video, we can see the car stopping in the middle of the road. Its glasses are tinted, making it difficult to see who is sitting inside. Then the vehicle speeds off. That must have prompted the cops to open fire. But all these things are a matter of investigation.”
Satyender Tomar, BJP district president, said, “The video exhibits very clearly that it is 100% the fault of the police. We have registered our protest with the police brass. They have asked for two days to bring out the truth and take action against the culprits.”
The BJP worker, Ashwin Panwar, 41, said that had he not fled, the policemen would have shot him dead on Tuesday night. He alleged that they were “hired” by his political rivals to get him killed. Ashwin’s father was killed in 2005 when he was the sitting chairman of a nagar panchayat in Shamli.
Panwar claimed that the policemen followed him home, in Ellum village. “Then they picked me up and took me to a police station where I was treated badly and told I’d be killed like (Kanpur-based) gangster Vikas Dubey. I was let off in the morning when other BJP leaders and villagers reached there,” he said.
He further alleged that his political rival and former SP MLA Ratan Pal was behind the attack. Pal’s daughter, Deepa Pawar, is the incumbent chairperson of Ellum nagar panchayat of Shamli. In 2005, when Panwar’s father Rajbir Panwar was shot dead, four persons of Pal’s family were named in an FIR. After his father’s death, Panwar fought the nagar panchayat election against Pal’s family members but lost, twice.
“This family has always been against me. In September last year, I had written a letter to police saying that my life is in danger,” Panwar said.
The charges were rebutted by Pal’s family. Chairperson Deepa told TOI, “These are baseless accusations. Ashwin is a man of criminal antecedents. A murder case is also pending against him for which non-bailable warrants have been issued several times.
He had named four members of my family in the murder of his father, who also had criminal record. But nothing could be proven as they were not involved in the murder. A habitual troublemaker, he used to brandish weapons. After I wrote to senior authorities, his weapons were confiscated.”