After two eyewitnesses refuted the Delhi Police's allegations that assault and trampling by protesters caused constable Subhash Chand Tomar's death, a third eyewitness surfaced who supported the police's version. Earlier, the allegations of the two witnesses had forced the Delhi Police on the backfoot.
The third eyewitness claimed that he had seen Tomar being assaulted by six-seven men wearing the caps of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Salim Alvi, 31, from Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr, surfaced at the Parliament Street police station, after remaining silent for four days.
A construction contractor, Alvi approached the police on Wednesday evening and submitted his written statement in which he claimed to have witnessed Tomar being attacked. Sources said the police will record Alvi's statement as a witness, after verifying his antecedents.
Speaking to Hindustan Times on Thursday afternoon, Alvi said, "I was protesting at India Gate on Sunday evening when I saw a group of policemen chasing some protesters. One of the policemen halted. A stone came at him and hit his leg. The constable fell after which six-seven men kicked him and walked all over him. They then ran away and I followed them. I questioned them about their getting violent, and they said that was how protests were done," said Alvi, adding the attack lasted for over 20 seconds.
When confronted with the claims made by the other two eyewitnesses - Yogendra and Pauline - Alvi said the two had reached after nearly 10 minutes of Tomar being assaulted. The two had claimed that Tomar had not been assaulted by anyone.
Asked why he remained silent for four days, Alvi said, "I never thought the constable would die. I kept quiet because I thought my statement would fan the controversy. But when wrong things started coming out in the media, I decided to tell the truth."
Alvi, who calls himself a social worker, has a history of being in the limelight over controversial issues, said Manish Sisodia of AAP. "On July 25, he created a commotion when I was attending a meeting in Bulandshahr. In June, he attempted self-immolation at Jantar Mantar during our protests in which Ramdev and Anna Hazare were present," said Sisodia.
Alvi did not deny Sisodia's claims: "I was associated with Anna Hazare's movement, but left it when Arvind Kejriwal formed his party that indulges in violence."