After a week of refuting any communal link in the shocking murder of four people by a Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable aboard a Jaipur-Mumbai train, the railway police has added sections of the law relating to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion to the case against him.
The Government Railway Police (GRP), in the First Information Report, or FIR, against accused RPF Constable Chetan Singh, added Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which relate to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.
The police informed the court today during the accused’s remand. The court has granted police custody of the accused till August 11.
The FIR also includes IPC Section 302 (murder), Arms Act 3, 25, 27, and Railways Act.
A video of Chetan Singh on the train, seemingly recorded by passengers, showing a bloody body of a man who was shot lying at his feet while he made a communal speech mentioning Pakistan and domestic political issues, had gone viral soon after the horrific incident.
In the video, which NDTV can’t independently verify, the accused went on a tirade mentioning Pakistan, Indian media, and mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and “Thackeray”. Officials haven’t so far denied the authenticity of the video.
“…Agar vote dena hai, agar Hindustan me rehna hai, toh mai kehta hoon, Modi aur Yogi, ye do hain, aur aapke Thackeray” (…If you want to vote, if you want to live in India, then I say, Modi and Yogi, these are the two, and your Thackeray’),” he can be heard saying in the video.
Three of the people Chetan Singh shot dead were Muslims. The accused first shot his superior, Sub-Inspector Tika Ram Meena, and went from coach to coach during which he killed three passengers — Abdul Qadirbhai Mohammed Hussain Bhanpurwala, Akhtar Abbas Ali, and Sadar Mohammed Hussain.
The accused was sent for a “mental health assessment” soon after the crime. A “comprehensive mental and psychological health assessment” of the RPF personnel is being carried out, Railway Ministry sources had said, while ruling out the communal angle – raised by videos and posts on social media – and pointed out that the accused had also shot Hindus, including his own boss.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi had earlier posted the clip, commenting, “This is a terror attack that specifically targeted Muslims. It is the product of continuous anti-Muslim hate speech & unwillingness of @narendramodi to put an end to it.” He added, “Will the accused #RPFJawan become a future BJP candidate? Will his bail be supported by the govt? Will he be garlanded when released?”
His tweet was blocked in India at the request of the authorities.
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