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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Teen victim’s family blames ‘friend who always caused trouble’

The family of the victim Mohammad Salman has rejected the police claim that he was killed when his a pistol in his friend’s hand went off accidentally during shooting a video.

delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2019 12:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shakir Hussain (centre) father of Mohammad Salman, being comforted by relatives at the Maulana Azad Medical College .
Shakir Hussain (centre) father of Mohammad Salman, being comforted by relatives at the Maulana Azad Medical College .(Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo )

When Shakir Hussain was informed in the early hours of Sunday that his 19-year-old son, Mohammad Salman, had been “accidentally” shot dead, he was in shock and disbelief. The police told him that it was an illegal pistol allegedly owned by his son that accidentally went off in the hands of his son’s friend, Suhail Malik.

“My son never indulged in an illegal activity. I even announced in my neighbourhood that if there is even one soul who can claim that they saw Salman carrying a pistol, I would let the public rain shoes on my son’s corpse,” said Shakir.

By Sunday evening, however, Shakir felt vindicated when the police changed their version and said that the pistol allegedly belonged to Suhail instead, not Salman.

Shakir and his older son, Mohammad Arif, had rued Salman’s friendship with Suhail, their neighbour in New Jafrabad. “Suhail had always been a trouble maker. He would go on joyrides late in the nights and return home only in the wee hours of the morning. We had always warned Salman from keeping his company,” said Shakir.

According to Arif, the most recent example of this was in the early hours of April 7, mere hours after Salman’s older sister had been married. “We were busy with the wedding and couldn’t find Salman around. I searched for him, only to find him sitting in a car with Suhail. I scolded both of them and told Suhail to keep away from Salman,” said Salman’s brother, Arif.

“Our entire family had been happy with my sister’s wedding. A week later, the joy has turned to sorrow,” Arif added.

Salman had dropped out of school around two years ago as he wanted to help his father with his jeans-manufacturing business.

Arif had spoken to his brother Salman over the phone just a few minutes before his murder. “Salman wanted to meet me for some work and had called me over the phone at 9.39 pm. I told him I would be home in 10 minutes, but by the time I reached home Salman had been whisked away by his friends,” said Arif.

Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi), said that Salman, Suhail and their third friend, Aamir, had left home in a Hyundai Creta car for a joyride to India Gate. During the drive back, Suhail decided to record a video for the TikTok app posing with his pistol when a bump on the Ranjeet Singh Flyover near Connaught Place caused the gun to “accidentally” go off, said the DCP, quoting the suspect.

However, the family refused to accept this version. “The bullet could have hit my son anywhere. I cannot accept that the bullet hit him so precisely. This is a planned murder. All I want to know is the reason behind it,” said Salman’s father.

First Published: Apr 15, 2019 12:29 IST

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