Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Minister Dharampal Singh stoked up a controversy on Saturday over the killing of an Apple store employee Vivek Tiwari as he claimed that the deceased was a ‘criminal’. Coming out in the support of the accused policeman, he said that the action taken by him was right and the personnel is not at fault in the encounter.

Encounter me aisi koi galti nahi hui. Usi ko goli lag rahi hai jo vaastav mein criminal hai. Nyay sabko, jo galti karega usko dand milega (The police shot at the person who is a criminal in reality. Whosoever will break the law will be punished),” he said.

On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh minister Ashutosh Tandon termed the incident as a crime and informed that the policemen involved in the incident have been arrested and expelled. “Orders given for rewriting of FIR. Gomti Nagar police won’t investigate it, some other police station will probe. DM Lucknow had ordered magisterial inquiry. I have ordered constitution of SIT. It’s a crime. Policemen involved have been arrested and expelled,” he said.

Vivek Tiwari was allegedly shot by police personnel in Uttar Pradesh’s capital city Lucknow on Friday after which his car met with an accident. He later succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at a hospital. The accused constable, Prashant Chaudhary, has been taken into police custody following the incident and a case has been registered against him under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, Chaudhary has claimed that he fired in self-defense.

“I didn’t shoot at him. The bullet was shot by mistake. He hit me with his car and drove it over me three times with the intention to kill me. I demand that my FIR must be registered,” Chaudhary was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. He also alleged that CM Yogi Adityanath has told the police not to register his case. “Is there no value of our lives,” he said.

Not an Encounter, Says UP CM Yogi Adityanath; SIT Formed

Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath denied that the killing of Tiwari was an encounter and asserted that the probe will be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), if required. “It was not an encounter. An investigation will be conducted in this incident and if needed, we will order a CBI inquiry into the incident,” he told media.

As part of the probe a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed under Superintendent of Police (Crime) to look into the incident, wherein Tiwari, an employee of tech giant Apple, was allegedly killed during a firing by UP Police constable.

Family Refuses to Cremate Body; Deceased’s Wife Writes to UP CM

Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case, Tiwari’s family has refused to cremate his body. His wife Kalpana has written to CM Yogi Adityanath and while seeking Rs 1 crore along with a job in the police department as compensation.