By Aishwarya Dixit:
One year, 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days have passed. The world is getting ready to face a new year with new hopes and new plans and new resolutions but there is a family who won’t be a part of that. They will face the next year with the same expectations of getting justice and with the same old resolution of seeing their son’s killers behind bars.
The boy’s name was Abhishek Singh. He was a lot of things to everybody. A friend, a guide, a partner, a son, a brother, an excellent student. Now he is the lost piece of their soul. Abhishek was the boy-next-door, a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Always the one to make a crying fellow smile, always the guy who has your back and never afraid to stand up against the wrong-side. Which is exactly what he did before he was killed on the night of December 31, 2014.
On 31st December 2014, less than a week after his Abhishek’s 19th birthday, one of his friends got into a heated argument with a local goon who is infamous for extorting money from school kids belonging to well-to-do families in some areas of Lucknow city. Abhishek used to be among those students. He was bullied to such an extent that his family decided to send him to Dehradun to continue his studies.
Although Abhishek was not involved in the altercation himself but the main culprit targeted him along with his friends to be ‘dealt with’ later as well. The argument became worse when one of Abhishek’s friends stoned the goon’s house following which the latter was out for blood.
Around 11 pm, Abhishek was out with his friends to celebrate new year but ran into the goon and his band of thugs. Since they recognised him, they started beating up Abhishek, his friends somehow managed to save themselves leaving only Abhishek to deal with the thugs who were carrying iron rods. He died on his way to the hospital. Not one sincere effort was made to save Abhishek’s life by either the police or the doctors.
The police having arrived too late on the spot misinformed Abhishek’s family citing a motor-vehicle accident as cause of death and initially even refused to file an F.I.R. The post-mortem report clearly stated that his wounds were of non-accidental nature which exposed the police’s reluctance to pursue this case as a murder. The last straw was drawn when the police deliberately changed the section charged upon the culprits from 302 (Punishment under murder) to 304-A (Causing death due to negligence) which has a minimal amount of jail time and/or a fine.
The supporters for Abhishek protested relentlessly and met with the various administrative authorities of the state including the DIG, SSP, DM, DGP, the Governor and even the Chief Minister himself. The only positive result was the suspension of a police officer under the grounds of unfair investigation as evidence was being erased and the witnesses to the murder were being forced to change their statements. This helped in the realisation of two things: firstly, the accused had control within the authorities and secondly, it was going to be a long fight for justice.
A whole year has passed and those culprits are still free and roaming about the city. This is a request to all of you to please help us fight and send a message to all those who think they can get away with crimes like these and prove them wrong.