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The Supreme Court Tuesday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and asked it to explain why the body of a man allegedly killed in a shootout with police was not being handed over to his parents.

The court also directed that the notice should be served Dasti (by hand) on the additional advocate general of the state.

The vacation bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi and including Justice C.K. Prasad, issued the notice on a petition by Jhadmal and Juhari, the parents of Saleem who was killed in an alleged staged shootout by Uttar Pradesh police on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2010.

Appearing for the petitioners, counsel D.K. Garg said that Saleem was incapable of committing any crime as alleged by the police.

Garg told the apex court that the shootout victim was ‘mentally and physically’ incapable of committing any crime as he had suffered a paralytic attack on account of serious accident November 11, 2009.

Counsel said the officials of three police stations — Mathura Refinery, Chhata and Farah — killed the victim on a false carjacking allegation that Saleem had waylaid and stolen a Bolero car belonging to Pratap Singh Pradhan of Jundvai village along with other accomplices, who managed to escape.

The petitioners alleged that Farah police station SHO Bhagwan Singh Gurjar enjoys immunity because of his alleged closeness to Chief Minister Mayawati. The petitioners said it was because of this proximity to the high powers in Lucknow that the director general of state police (DGP) has declared Gurjar as an ‘encounter specialist’.

Counsel Garg told the apex court that Saleem was not the lone case of fake shootout and 20 other people have fallen victim to Gurjar’s alleged trigger happy methods of policing in the last two months.

At this, Justice Singhvi asked counsel as to what was his source of information that 20 people have been killed in last two months. Counsel said that a police officer was his source. Justice Singhvi asked him to name the officer. As counsel sought time to get the name, the matter was adjourned for further hearing till Wednesday.

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