Three eyewitnesses accuse Delhi Police official of murder during Delhi violence

Mohammad Imran holds up a photo of his brother, Mohammad Furkan, who was shot dead in northeast Delhi's Kardampuri area during the Delhi violence on 24 February 2020. According to three eyewitnesses, Furkan was shot dead at the anti-CAA protest site in Kardampuri, without provocation, by a Delhi Police official Harveer Singh Bhati. Shahid Tantray for The Caravan
12 February, 2021

Three eyewitnesses said that on 24 February last year, during the communal violence in northeast Delhi, they saw Harveer Singh Bhati, a sub-inspector from the Okhla police station, shoot and kill a local resident, Mohammad Furkan. His post-mortem report confirmed two bullets, in his left thigh and his lower abdomen. Three women told us that they were less than twenty feet away from Furkan when he was shot, and that Bhati killed the 30-year-old man from close range, and without provocation at the anti-CAA protest site at Kardampuri. All three women said that security forces and rioters had set fire to the Kardampuri protest site that afternoon. Furkan had rushed to it to protect the Quran and other Islamic scripture from the flames. “I saw Bhati firing two bullets at Furkan,” Ruksana Khatoon, a resident of Kardampuri and one of the eyewitnesses, said. The other eyewitnesses, Malka and Shahnaz, corroborated that the policeman fired two shots. “I saw it with my own eyes, I can never forget it,” Malka said.

In a video from that day, filmed near the Kardampuri bridge and soon after he was shot, a number of men can be seen frantically rushing Furkan to a hospital. The men in the video, too, accuse the police of shooting him. They can be heard shouting, “Look, the policeman shot him” and “The government has become so cowardly that it has started shooting us now.” We were unable to meet Bhati for an interview despite numerous attempts. We emailed queries to the Delhi Police commissioner, the deputy commissioner of southeast Delhi, the public-relations officer, the station house officer of Okhla police station, the investigating officer in Furkan’s case, and Bhati. None responded by the time this article was published.

At 5.30 pm on 24 February, Furkan was declared brought dead at the Guru Tegh Bahadur hospital, in Dilshad Garden. The police investigation into his death reflects the same shoddy investigation and persecution of  Muslim individuals that has come to mark much of the Delhi Police’s investigation into the February violence. The accusations against Bhati, though far from novel insofar as police complicity is concerned, mark a rare instance of eyewitnesses coming on record, despite numerous cases of police intimidation, to accuse a named official of murder.

Kardampuri lies approximately in the middle of Gokulpuri and Maujpur, two other areas of northeast Delhi that witnessed violence in February. The roads connecting the two areas are divided by a canal, and Kardampuri stands adjacent to one of the roads. A foot overbridge connects the two roads. A majority of Muslims live in Kardampuri on one side of the bridge, and on the opposite side stands the Hindu-dominated Yamuna Vihar neighbourhood. A large tent had been put up near the bridge on the Kardampuri side as a protest site against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019—one of several that emerged in Delhi and across the country amid the then nationwide movement against the law.

The Kardampuri protest had been ongoing for at least 45 days before the Delhi violence, and the three eyewitnesses were regulars at the protest. As was Bhati, according to the women, who said that he was one of the beat officers stationed at the protest site, and they all recognised him by name and face. At the time, Bhati was posted with the Jyoti Nagar police station, and officials at the Okhla police station confirmed to us that he was transferred a few months after the Delhi violence. On the morning of 24 February, the women said, the anti-CAA protest at Kardampuri was proceeding as usual when a group of men with red strings tied on their wrists—a Hindu religious symbol—entered the tent. “I’m not sure what all they said, but everyone immediately stood up,” Khatoon told us. “We pacified everyone and asked the women and all the others to sit down.” At around 1 pm, she continued, Malka and her decided to go to the foot overbridge to survey the area. From there, they heard sounds of gunfire coming from the Maujpur area.

Then, Khatoon recalled, they saw the mob. “At least 40–50 men in uniform were charging in our direction and firing tear-gas shells,” she said. “As they reached the nearby cremation ground, everyone started running. It was mayhem.” Malka described the scene, “I saw from the foot overbridge on the main road that RSS men were standing on the cars near Shiv Mandir.” She said she assumed they were from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh because they were wearing saffron and chanting “Jai Shree Ram,” a political slogan of the Hindutva organisation. “Another group of rioters and men in uniform from Maujpur, joined these RSS men and the police at the protest site to attack the protestors. All of them came, throwing tear-gas canisters and pelting stones at us.” A video that circulated among the residents of Kardampuri during the violence within the locality, shows police officials and civilian rioters charging from the Yamuna Vihar side towards the protest site.

“The rioters set our tent on fire,” Khatoon said. “These rioters did not even spare the elderly women, who had shielded themselves under the blanket. They flung our copies of the Holy Quran, rosaries and prayer rug in the burning fire.” Malka told us she was among many women who sought refuge inside one of the portable toilets that the protesters had installed near their tent. “But they entered the toilets and started destroying everything inside,” she said. “A woman had gone inside one of them with her children, but they beat her. Her entire arm was bruised blue.”  But Malka managed to hide in the toilet for a short while without attracting the attention of the police, and exited the toilet at around 4 pm.

When Malka exited the toilet, she saw the protest tent on fire, and rushed to salvage the copies of the Quran that were outside. “Then, a man in uniform snatched the copies from me and flung it in the flames,” she told us. “He also threw my cardigan and shawl in the fire, and then told me to leave from there. But as I stepped forward, a teargas shell fell at my feet.” Malka said she grew anxious and began having palpitations upon breathing the smoke. “I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “When Furkan saw that I was visibly struggling for breath, he rescued me and brought me out of the smoke. I gestured to him that I was alright. After a while, I realised that the policemen had gone away, and I thought I would quickly go save the Yaseen Sharif.” (The Yaseen is an Islamic religious text that is known as the heart of the Quran.) “But Furkan reached the spot before me,” she added.

According to the three eyewitnesses, police officials were present nearby, but it was imperative to them to save the religious texts. As soon as Furkan moved to the site, however, the officials moved to attack him, they said. Malka and Shahnaz accused two police officials of attacking Furkan—Bhati and one Sonu, a constable who was also posted in Jyoti Nagar station at the time and whom they recognised as another beat officer stationed at the Kardampuri protest site.

Shahnaz said she saw Sonu push Furkan to the ground and Bhati shoot him. She added that she heard Bhati fire the gun twice, though she only saw the first shot, because she had turned around in fear. “Goli ki awaaz ke baad palat ke nahi dekha meine, darr ki wajah se”—I did not turn around to look after I heard the gunshot because I was scared. Malka described a similar sequence of events. When Furkan went to pick up the Yaseen, she said, Sonu tripped him and he fell to the ground. “And then Bhati shot him,” she said. “Doh goli maari. Saamne se goli maari. Position le ke maari. Uski taang mein goli maari.” (He fired twice. He fired from in front of him. He took aim and shot. He shot him in the leg.)

Khatoon, too, witnessed Bhati firing at Furkan, though she did not recall Sonu kicking him down. When asked this discrepancy between their accounts, Khatoon told us, “I might have missed Sonu kicking him, as a lot of things were happening around.” She added, “There were two shots fired. I saw one shot hit his leg. I did not see where the second bullet hit. But I am certain that both bullets hit him. And both shots were fired by Bhati.” Khatoon, too, noted, “Saamne se goli maari hai”—He shot him from the front.

We repeatedly asked the eyewitnesses if they were certain about the identity of the policeman they were accusing. All three of them said that they were less than twenty feet away from the spot where Furkan was shot and that they would make no mistake in identifying Harveer Singh Bhati. “Haan, pakka Bhati tha, sabko pata hai Bhati tha”—Yeah, I’m sure it was Bhati, everyone knows it was Bhati—Khatoon said. “I’ve seen him before, we all have. We all knew him from beforehand because of the protest. We recognise the policemen who were stationed at Kardampuri.”

Both Khatoon and Malka recounted prior encounters with Bhati. Malka recalled a conversation with Bhati that took place a month before the anti-Muslim violence erupted, on Republic Day. “He told me, ‘You’ll land up in jail.’ I told him, ‘Your jail is better than Modi’s detention centre.’” Malka added, “He used to say this often and laugh.” Khatoon told us about a confrontation with Bhati on 23 February, the day before Furkan was shot. She said Bhati had gone to the Kardampuri protest site with a videographer that night. “He started filming us without our permission,” she said. “So, I covered his camera’s lens with my palm, and he flicked my hand away.” Khatoon said that other protesters saw this exchange and began to push Bhati and the videographer back. After finally stopping the recording, Khatoon said Bhati warned her, “You were wrong to do this, you do not know what all can happen to you.”

The Delhi Police’s first-information report in the case tells an entirely different account of Furkan’s death. According to the FIR, it was registered at around 3 am on 25 February at the Jyoti Nagar police station, against a complaint filed by Furkan’s brother, Mohammad Imran. The complaint recorded in the FIR stated that on the evening of 24 February, Imran was riding back home on his scooty when he saw his brother standing on the Kardampuri bridge, at around 5.20 pm. It claimed that Imran then called out to Furkan, who turned around and started walking towards him before he suddenly fell to the ground. “I ran towards Furkan and saw that he was bleeding from his left leg and that he had been shot,” the FIR said. “Since there was stone pelting going on from both sides at the time, I could not determine where the bullet came from.”

But Imran told us that he did not see his brother get shot, and was not even present at the protest site at the time—in fact, he said that he found out only after Furkan had been taken to the hospital. “The FIR is fabricated,” Imran told us. “Story and language in the FIR is concocted by the police. They pressured me to file an FIR right after Furkan’s demise. I told them that I am not an eyewitness. Still, they made me one. Neither was I present at the Pulia when Furkan was shot at nor did I narrate the FIR.”

Furkan was married with two children, aged five and three years.  Him and his wife, Firdaus, lived just a few streets away from his brother, Imran’s house. According to Rubina, Imran’s wife, Firdaus had told her that Furkan stepped out of his home at around 4 pm that day to buy food items for his children. Upon discovering that the nearby shops were shut, he went to the market near the Kardampuri bridge. “Furkan did not know that the riots had already erupted,” Rubina said. Imran runs a handicraft business and was at work when he learnt of the incident. “Within an hour after I left, I started getting calls that Furkan had been shot and rushed to the hospital,” he told us. I reached the hospital only to find out that my brother was lying on the stretcher, dead. I tremored, not knowing how to inform my family about his death, especially Firdaus, Furkan’s wife.”

Firdaus, the mother of two, was pregnant with their third child last February. After she received the news of Furkan’s death, the trauma cost her the third child. Within a week thereafter, in March, her father also died. “He couldn’t see his daughter suffering, in anguish, and died of a heart attack,” Rubina said.

“Though this FIR is a lie, it holds two truths,” Imran told us. “One that my brother was shot, two that he died.” He said that he wanted to consult a lawyer before filing a complaint but the police pressured him into it. “They said you would not get your brother’s body until you register a complaint. I was in pain because of my Furkan’s demise. So, I agreed to whatever the police said because I wanted my brother’s body.”

The video in which men can be seen carrying Furkan’s bleeding body supports Imran’s statement. He could not be seen anywhere in the video, and was not among those carrying Furkan after he was shot. The video corroborated the accounts by the three eyewitnesses that the Delhi Police had shot him. In this 48-second-video, the crowd can be heard saying four times that the police have shot Furkan. In fact, it was another man by the same name, Mohammad Imran, who works as a tutor in Kardampuri, who took Furkan to the hospital. “I took Furkan to the GTB Hospital and talked to his brother only after Furkan was declared dead,” he told us. The medico-legal certificate also identified the tutor Imran as the person who had brought Furkan to the hospital, identifiable by his number—and not the brother’s—recorded in the medical document. The final chargesheet in the case acknowledged that the tutor had brought Furkan without addressing the contradiction with the FIR.

The police filed its chargesheet in June, accusing four Muslim men of the murder, all of whom had been arrested during the course of their investigation. The accused individuals—Mohammad Imran, a 33-year-old with the same name as Furkan’s brother and the tutor; Anwar Hussain, who is 23 years old; and Khalid Ansari and Kasim, both of whom are 20 years old—were arrested on evidence that was flimsy at best. In the chargesheet, the police did not produce any evidence or a witness to support the claim that any of these four individuals had shot Furkan. The police did not produce any evidence in the chargesheet to suggest that the accused persons were even carrying any weapons apart from sticks, or any witness who saw Furkan being shot. The police did not record the statements of the three eyewitnesses who said they were within twenty feet of Furkan when he was shot dead.

Instead, the chargesheet stated that the “Muslim population i.e residents of Kardam Puri were very violent at Kardam Puri Pulia, protest site.” The police went on to cite two other unrelated FIRs by two Muslim complainants who had also been shot at Kardampuri in order to argue that there was firing going on during the protest—as was already evident from Furkan’s death. But while the complaints did not specify the individuals responsible for it, the police chargesheet uses the two statements to infer “that some persons from Kardampuri were firing.”  We visited the two complainants, but they refused to speak to us, fearing repercussion from the police.

The police chargesheet also mentions that it had issued notices to media organisations seeking footage from the area. Relying on video footage it obtained from Zee News, the police further claimed that “without doubt, it can be said that no opposite group was present in the vicinity when the incident took place.” Yet, videos that circulated among residents of Kardampuri indicated that this is false, in which the police and rioters could be seen charging together from Yamuna Vihar towards the Kardampuri protest site. But the chargesheet added, “It clearly indicates that the gunshot injuries received by Furkan were fired by rioters who were present at Kardam Puri Pulia.”

A study of Furkan’s medico-legal certificate, post-mortem report, FIR and chargesheet also reveal glaring inconsistencies. The post-mortem report, prepared by a board of doctors comprising doctors KK Banerjee, SK Verma and Anil Kohli, at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital on 26 February, specifies that Furkan was shot twice—in the left lower abdomen and the middle of his left thigh. The MLC, prepared at the same hospital on the day of his death, mentions none of the bullet wounds, while the FIR, which was registered after the MLC, mentions only one. According to a doctor from the hospital, who requested not to be identified, “The general procedure that the doctors follow here in the GTB Hospital is that we tend to not examine the patients’ injuries very closely when they are ‘brought dead,’ so as to give time to other patients.”

Further, the Delhi Police’s chargesheet also reveals serious shortcomings in the forensic examination in the case. According to guidelines concerning crime exhibits issued by the Delhi government’s Forensic Science Laboratory, the packet to be examined—which contains the cartridges, projectiles, bullets, or firearms—has to be properly sealed and labelled by the police. The seal bears the case details and should be attested either by an investigating officer, station house officer or medico-legal officer. The label, which lists the crime exhibits, has to be attested by the investigating officer. The guidelines state that these processes are necessary to cross-verify case details and help prevent any possible tampering with the evidence.

On 12 March 2020, the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Delhi government sent a letter to the Delhi Police listing 15 different objections to the crime exhibits sent by the police as part of its investigation into the murder of Mohammad Furkan.

The crime exhibits in Furkan’s case were sent to the Delhi FSL for examination. On 12 March, the FSL replied to the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch with no less than 15 different objections.  These included that the police did not properly seal the parcel containing crime exhibits, nor did it sign the label. It also points out that the seal is not “attested, legible, complete or standard” and is without “case information like FIR Number.” The crime branch also failed to send an attested photocopy of the post-mortem report to the FSL department. Adarsh Mishra, a forensic expert who founded the private forensic science organisation, Brilliant Forensic Investigation, reviewed the FSL’s letter. Mishra told us, “There are only two possibilities to these objections—that either the Delhi Police does not know their job or they have manipulated with the crime exhibits.”

Despite all the laxities shown in Furkan’s investigation, the police arrested the four Muslim men from Kardampuri. On 31 March, the police barged into the accused Mohammad Imran’s house wearing civilian clothes, his brother, Mohammad Mehmood, told us. “I saw five to ten dragging my brother Imran from the upper floor,” Mehmood said. “Suddenly, around 20 men gathered in and around my house. I asked them, ‘Who are all of you?’ They said, ‘Police.’ We asked them what's the matter. The police paid no heed to us and took my brother away. Later, we got to know he was arrested for shooting Furkan on 24 February at Kardampuri Pulia.” Imran was released on bail in October 2020.

Anwar Hussain, among those accused in the case, is a vegetable vendor. He had been released on bail when we visited Kardampuri. “On 8 March, under the Jafrabad metro, three policemen held me at gunpoint and whisked me off to Shakarpur police station,” Hussain said. “There, I got to know that I was arrested in Furkan’s murder case, whom I have never met in my entire life. On 24 February, I was heading home after parking my pushcart in the godown near Kardampuri. I was not even present at the protest site.” Recounting his initial days of police custody, Hussain said, “After one of my court hearings, the cops took me to the Shakarpur police station. There, they asked me to run. I refused. I told them that rather, kill me here if you want to. Then, they trashed and tortured me more.”

Abrar Qureshi, Hussain’s father, told us, “I visited the police station to meet Anwar. I saw him in excruciating pain. The cops smashed him like someone slaughters a cow.” He continued, “To my relief, a stranger appeared, claiming that the investigating officer had sent him. He said that he could help me release Anwar if I paid him Rs 30,000. In desperation, I somehow arranged the massive amount. But I handed it over to him only to find out that I had been duped. That stranger just vanished.” Hussain spent eight months in jail before he was granted bail, in November 2020. The other two, Khalid Ansari and Kasim—both of whom are just 20 years old—are still in jail.

Khalid was arrested on 2 April. “One fine day, the police knocked at our doors,” Khalid’s father, Sadeen Ansari, told us. “They asked us to bring Khalid to Jyoti Nagar police station for a brief inquiry. So, we obeyed. There, the police arrested him in Furkan’s case.” Kasim’s mother, Firoza, said, “On 24 February, I was at the Kardampuri protest site. He was returning from work, when he saw the rioters attacking us. His only crime is that he tried to save us from them.”

The chargesheet indicates that the Delhi Police narrowed down on these four individuals based on no evidence apart from the fact that CCTV footage showed these men present in the Kardampuri area. The chargesheet does not, however, indicate that CCTV footage caught the men indulging in any violence or carrying any arms. Moreover, in Hussain’s case, the police submitted footage from 23 February, a day before Furkan was shot, noting that he was an “active participant” but without acknowledging its failure to provide CCTV footage from the day of the murder. 

In fact, the only purported evidence of violence committed by the four individuals that the Delhi Police offered in the chargesheet is their disclosure statements, or confessions made by the accused in police custody. Confessions given under custody are not admissible in court, as per Indian criminal procedure. Pertinently, none of their statements confessed to the murder, and only referred to their participation in the protest. Moreover, as has by now become a widely reported folly in the Delhi Police’s chargesheets into the February violence, multiple disclosure statements contained similar—or even identical—vocabulary, raising doubts about their veracity. Hussain’s and Imran’s statements were almost identically worded at parts. Both of them stated that local leaders had encouraged them to participate in the ongoing anti CAA-NRC protests, and that on 23 February, these leaders and protestors provoked them to ignite riots.  

Hussain told us, “Inside Shakarpur police station, the cops whacked my head with slippers and thrashed my legs with lathis. They forced me to say, ‘Jai Shree Ram.’” He added that the police threatened him by saying, “If you want to live in Delhi, you will have to raise the Hindutva slogan.” Hussain said the police made him sign on a blank paper “and prepared the disclosure statement themselves, full of lies.” The accused Imran also said that the police forced him to sign on a blank paper. “When I objected, they threatened to thrash me,” he said. “So, I had to. They did not even tell me what all they wrote in my disclosure statement.”

The disclosure statements of three of the accused—Hussain, Khalid and Kasim—mention that a boy was beaten to death outside a dispensary near the Kardampuri bridge during the violence. This was 23-year-old Faizan, who was among those tortured by the police who forced a group of five men to sing the national anthem as they lay on the ground bleeding from injuries. In the video of the incident that had gone viral, it was clearly visible that it was the police beating the five men. Curiously, none of the disclosure statements mentioned police brutality.

All four disclosure statements of the accused also accused the same dozen men of participating in the violence—though they were identified in a different order. The accused Imran said that he did not know any of these people. “The cops asked me to name 10 people from Kardampuri, and that after that they would let me go,” he told us. “I said that I do not know anyone.” Hussain, too, said he was asked to name individuals, but added that he did not name anyone. He denied naming these individuals and said he does not know them either. “This is the police's conspiracy to trap us,” Hussain said. “The investigating officer, whose name I do not recall, threatened me, saying ‘You are a Muslim, so you will anyhow have to go to jail.’ I broke into tears.” Sadeen Ansari, Khalid’s father, and his family members all questioned the logic of the accused persons naming these individuals. Ansari asked, “How come Muslims only killed a Muslim and also blamed other Muslims for the riots?”

The Delhi Police’s investigation in the case appeared to rely heavily on police witnesses. It recorded statements of over 16 different police officials, none of whom spoke about the killing of Furkan. Instead, these statements only sought to establish that there were protests ongoing in Kardampuri at the time, during which violence had broken out and there were men carrying weapons. But not one of them saw Furkan, who shot him, or any of the four accused persons. Of the 16, as many as 14 contained similar language that raised questions about their genuineness. The other two statements—that of a head constable Rewati Prasad and a constable Monu—were identical, word-to-word copies of each other.

Meanwhile, the police chargesheet did not record the statement of a single anti-CAA protester from the protest site. Furkan’s brother Imran said, “The police have deliberately not recorded statements of anyone from Kardampuri. Because this would have revealed the truth, which they were already aware of. You see, now, police are better informed about the matters of our area than us.”

The Delhi Police’s chargesheet did include an inquiry that suggested the possibility of knowledge that there were accusations that a police official had shot Furkan, though there was no mention of it in the chargesheet or any of the statements it recorded. In April, the investigating officer, Shiv Darshan, wrote to the Jyoti Nagar police station with a “request to provide the details of firing by police staff on dt 24&25/2/20.” On 27 April, the Jyoti Nagar station house officer responded, “It is submitted that no firing has been done by the police staff of P.S. Jyoti Nagar North East Delhi on dated 24 and 25/02/2020 at Near Kardam Puri Delhi.”

Darshan asked us to direct our queries about the investigation to the Delhi Police’s public-relations officer. We emailed queries about the investigation and the allegations against Sonu and Bhati to the PRO, Eish Singhal, but received no response. Bhati initially asked us to meet him in person, but subsequently stopped answering our calls and messages. Sonu asked us to send him questions over WhatsApp, and subsequently stopped answering our calls. Neither of them responded to queries about the allegations against them. We also emailed the Delhi Police commissioner and the deputy commissioner of police of south-east Delhi, but received no response. The story will be updated if and when a response is received.

All three eyewitnesses we spoke to said that it was not just them but many people saw Harveer Singh Bhati shoot and kill Furkan. “But they are not gathering the courage to come upfront,” Malka said. Our conversation with the tutor Imran, who took Furkan to the hospital, proved her right. “If you asked me to clean the road with my tongue, I would happily do it,” Imran told us. “I am being pressured heavily. So, spare me from speaking on what happened on 24 February.”

But Malka was not scared. “I am only telling you the truth,” she said. “I am not under any pressure from anyone. I would say this even if I was on the verge of dying. What can they do, they can’t beat me up, I’ve not committed murder. At most, they can put me in jail. An individual will get out of jail in one, two, ten years. They can’t kill me.” Malka said it may have offered some solace if outsiders had shot Furkan, people who did not know him. “But they knew him,” she said, referring to Sonu and Bhati. “Who did they not know in Kardampuri? And now they’ve implicated others in his murder.”

Malka stood firm by her accusation. “The shot was fired by the police, Bhati shot him. I will not be intimidated by anyone, and I am not speaking under anyone’s coercion. I will shout this testimony in court.” 

We made several attempts to interview Harveer Singh Bhati. The first time we called him, on 15 January, was the only time he answered his phone. He asked us to meet him personally at a police station, but cut the call without telling us which station. We called him again several times to fix the meeting but he did not answer any of our calls, and ultimately blocked us on WhatsApp. We visited the Okhla Industrial Area police station thrice, where we were told that it had been months since he visited the station because he was usually on duty elsewhere, such as the farmers’ protest sites and the Republic Day parade. 

In end January, officials at the Okhla station said that he would return to the station following the beating retreat ceremony. After the ceremony got over, the Okhla station said he was stationed in the New Delhi district under the Parliament Street police station. We were then told on different days by officials at the Parliament Street station that Bhati was on duty near India Gate and in Janpath, in central Delhi, but each time we visited, the officials on duty told us that the staff from the Okhla station has already been withdrawn. On 5 February, the Okhla station told us that Bhati was once again on arrangement at the Ghazipur border. We visited the border, but the police officials present showed us a list of officials deployed from each police station, and Bhati was not among them. We returned to the Okhla station, where the officials maintained that Bhati was at Ghazipur and that they had no other information.  

On 6 February, we emailed the DCP of south-east Delhi and public-relations officer, as well as the station house officer of the Okhla station, about our efforts to speak to Bhati for his response to the allegations. We also pointed out that we had not yet received responses to our queries to the Delhi Police about the investigation into Furkan’s killing and the allegations against Bhati, which were emailed on 16 January. None had responded by the time this article was published. It will be updated if a response is received.