Navreet Singh death: Eyewitnesses, family accuse police; expert says wounds consistent with bullet injury; police deny

02 February 2021
Navreet Singh, who died during the farmer's rally on 26 January, in Delhi. Eyewitnesses and family members have alleged that the police shot Navreet. Acc
Courtesy Inderjit Singh
Navreet Singh, who died during the farmer's rally on 26 January, in Delhi. Eyewitnesses and family members have alleged that the police shot Navreet. Acc
Courtesy Inderjit Singh

Two eyewitnesses and family members have alleged that Navreet Singh, a 25-year-old farmer from Uttar Pradesh, died after he was shot during the farmers’ rally in Delhi on 26 January. The eyewitnesses told The Caravan that they saw police officials fire at Navreet, and that his tractor overturned seconds later. According to the post-mortem report, Navreet died as “a result of antemortem head injury.” Hardip Singh Dibdiba, Navreet’s grandfather, who examined his grandson’s body, alleged that the post-mortem report is inaccurate—despite recording wounds consistent with a gunshot, it did not mention bullet injuries as the likely cause of death, he said.

The Delhi Police has denied the allegations of the eyewitnesses and the family. Jasmeet Singh, the deputy commissioner of police for Delhi’s central district, told The Caravan that “no bullet was fired.” Referring to the post-mortem report, the DCP said that it “clearly states the cause of death.” Despite repeated requests, he refused to answer queries pertaining to the details of the incident.

The postmortem report, prepared by a panel of three doctors at District Hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur, concludes that the cause of the death was “shock and hemorrhage as a result of antemortem head injury.” A forensic expert with 13 years of experience with postmortems, who is also a senior resident at one of the leading government medical institutions in the country, examined the postmortem report. According to the expert, the only possible explanation for the injuries recorded by the doctors is that Navreet was hit by two bullets.

The first two antemortem injuries recorded in the report include a lacerated wound of “size 2x1cm, bone deep, over medial end of [right] eyebrow” and another lacerated wound of “2x1cm over left side of chin, below the left angle of mouth.” For the first wound, the “margins are inverted” and for the second, the “margins are inverted and bone deep,” the report states.

Atul Dev is a staff writer at The Caravan.

Arshu John is an assistant web editor at The Caravan. He was previously an advocate practicing criminal law in Delhi.

Keywords: Navreet Singh Farmers' Protest Republic Day Tractor Rally Uttar Pradesh Police Delhi Police
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