The family of a 45-year-old cab driver has alleged that he was forced to chant Jai Shri Ram before his death allegedly by two men who boarded his vehicle.
The Noida police however have denied the claim.
Police said Aftab was driving from Bulandshahr towards Delhi when two men hailed the cab “with criminal intentions”. Police said that prima facie, it appears the accused were drunk and boarded the cab to steal it. They are yet to be identified, and a case under section 302 (murder) has been filed at Badalpur Police Station, The Indian Express reported.
The victim’s son alleged that he recorded his father’s last call, made minutes before his death, in which the accused can be heard asking Mr. Aftab to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
“We had received information on Monday night about possible criminal activity in a cab travelling from Bulandshahr. By 9.30 pm, Dadri Police had been alerted and they located the Swift Dzire within their jurisdiction. The driver was found with head injuries while the accused had escaped. A clip is going viral in which the accused can be heard asking someone to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. They are not asking the driver; in fact they were talking to another person while they had stopped to buy something. There is no communal angle to this case and it appears the accused had a history,” said Rajiv Kumar, ACP 2 Zone 2 Noida.
Mr. Aftab’s son Sarib, 22, was quoted as saying by the national newspaper that he got a call from his father at 7.57 pm when he was near a toll plaza in Greater Noida, and the phone was later kept on the side while the conversation was being recorded. At 8.39 minute, the accused can be heard laughing and saying “Bol Jai Shri Ram…” and then “Bhai tu Jai Shri Ram bol” a few seconds later. The other person’s response is not audible.
According to the family, the phone battery died 15 minutes later, following which Mr. Sarib approached the local police in Delhi. He was told that the incident occurred within Gautam Buddh Nagar jurisdiction. Greater Noida Police later found the cab, with the driver in his seat with the seat belt on along with blunt injuries to the head. He died during treatment.
His son said Aftab owned a cab which he drove for a private company. He is survived by his wife and three children. The family hails from Mayur Vihar.