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Apple executive shot dead by UP cops, his family asks ‘was he a terrorist’

The constable allegedly fired in self defence since he suspected there were criminals in the vehicle that hit his motorbike.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2018 14:44 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow,Gomti Nagar,UP police
Vivek Tewari was an assistant sales manager at a tech company in Lucknow.(HT Photo)

An Uttar Pradesh constable shot dead an Apple executive who tried to drive away when he was questioned in Lucknow’s upscale Gomtinagar locality late on Friday night, police said. Vivek Tiwari, 38, was with a female friend, an ex-colleague, when the incident took place.

Initially, the police said the constable may have fired in self defence but later conceded they had used excessive force. “This is a shameful incident for us,” Anand Kumar, senior Uttar Pradesh police officer said.

Two constables, the one who opened fire and his partner, have been summarily sacked. A special team of officers has also been formed to probe the case. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the case was being probed by a SSIT and could be given to the CBI if need be.

Tiwari and his friend were in the parked sports utility vehicle at around 1.30 am when two policemen on patrol duty came along.

Senior Lucknow police officer Kalanidhi Naithani said the policemen questioned the couple because they felt “there was some suspicious activity”. Tiwari tried to reverse and drive away, hitting the motorcycle. The policemen tried to stop them.

It is around this time, Tiwari’s friend later told the police, that she heard what sounded like a gunshot.

The vehicle suddenly speeded up and crashed into the pillar of a flyover.

Tiwari’s friend told reporters that when she looked around after the crash, the two policemen were no where to be seen. “For some reason, I wasn’t carrying a phone on me.... So I approached truck drivers to call the police control room for help,” she said.

The police doesn’t contest the version that the policemen who shot the executive, had left him to die.

Naithani, Lucknow’s senior superintendent of police, said the woman called up the police for help and later, the police took him to a hospital where he died later,

Devendra Singh Negi, the director of Lohia hospital where Tiwari was taken, said Vivek Tiwari had a bullet injury near the ear on the left side. “He died during treatment,” he said, according to news agency ANI.

Vivek Tiwari is survived by his wife, and two daughters, aged 12 and 7.

“Why did the police kill him?... Was he a terrorist,” Tiwari’s wife Kalpana asked, demanding that chief minister Yogi Adityanath explain in person why her husband died.

Naithani, the Lucknow SSP, said the two constables were taken into custody after Tiwari’s friend, who was present during the shooting, filed a murder case against them.

News agency ANI said the two policemen Prashant Chaudhary and Sandeep were also brought to the hospital for check-up at 9 am.

Constable Prashant Chaudhary, who opened fire, said he saw a suspicious car with its lights off.

“When I approached the car, the driver (Vivek Tiwari) tried to run over me thrice to kill me. I fired a bullet in self-defence, he then immediately took off from the spot,” he said, according to ANI.

Naithani had initially said the constable fired in self-defence, “believing that some criminals were inside the car as the victim tried to flee after hitting the patrol bike”.

Uttar Pradesh’s police chief OP Singh later stepped in and announced that the initial probe suggests Prashant was in the wrong.

“Initial findings suggest that the constable acted beyond the limit of self defence,” said Singh, adding that the case of murder has been filed and a fair investigation will be done.

First Published: Sep 29, 2018 08:44 IST