Aler Encounter: Mohammed Zakir was killed for helping Viqaruddin rent a house, says sister

On April 7 2015, five people accused in the murder of two policemen were killed in an encounter in Aler, Nalgonda after the police allegedly shot all of them in ‘self-defence’. Like most cases of police encounters, this too remain shrouded in mystery and a year later, the families’ questions remain unanswered; their pleas unheard. In the four of the four-part series, Raqib Hameed Naik speaks to Latiefun Nisa, elder sister of deceased Mohammed Zakir.

Syed Nagar (Hyderabad): “Dua Karo appa. Inshallah, Mai Jaldi Choot jaon ga. (Pray Sister. God willing, I will get released soon),” these were the words that Mohammed Zakir, the deceased under trial used to tell his elder sister, Latiefun Nisa, whenever she used to visit him in Jail.

Support TwoCircles

Mohammed Zakir, 34, an auto driver by occupation, was married with two children and the youngest among his eight siblings. In July 2010, he was arrested by Andhra Police along with four others for aiding Mohammed Viqaruddin, who was accused of Killing three policemen in Hyderabad and one in Ahmedabad. He was also accused of being a member of the alleged fundamentalist outfit, Darsgah Jihad-O-Shahadat (DJS).

“My brother used to go for prayers in Mushirabad mosque, where he met Viqar. He had asked him to get him a house on rent, and he had helped him in getting one,” says Zakir’s elder sister Latiefun Nisa.

“This was the only favor he did for Viqar and used to do his usual business of driving auto, so that he could feed his family. He was never affiliated to any organization,” she adds.

Zakir, was picked up by policemen in July, 2010 while he was going for his work in the wee hours of morning in Warisguda. No one from his family was intimated about his arrest for months.

Mohammed Zakir

Mohammed Zakir

“We had never visited any police station before in life. For three months, we couldn’t even locate where he was kept by Police,” she says.

Finally, his family found out that he had been kept in the Cherlapally Prison in Hyderabad.

Nisa along with other family members went to meet him, where she remembers him pleading that he had no knowledge about why he had been arrested and added that he wasn’t involved in any subversive activity.“Since then, every month, once or twice I used to meet him. He used to ask me not to cry and instead pray for his release,” she says.

Later, he was shifted from Cherlapally prison to Chanchalguda central jail in Hyderabad where he was kept for two weeks and then in 2015, he was shifted to Warangal Prison where other four under trials were already kept.

“Once Zakir called me from Warangal Prison. He was normal and told me that everything is good and he doesn’t know why he was shifted to Warangal. He was of the view that may be case his is going to close that’s why he was brought to Warangal,” recalls Nisa.

On April 7th, 2015, Nisa, 52 was looking after her grandson who was sick since last three weeks. It was around 1 in the afternoon as her brother came rushing to home, crying and yelling, “Turn on the TV, something has happened to Zakir.” As everyone in the room ran toward the TV, the local Telegu news channels were all occupied with updates on Aler police encounter.

Zakir, was also gunned down along with four other under trails by Warnagal prison escort team near Aler in Telangana’s Nalgonda district while they were being brought to Hyderabad court from Warangal prison.

“I had never expected that anything like this could happen to him. He was very happy that his case was going to close soon and was very sure that he was going to be released and whenever we use to speak, he only used to ask me to make prayers for his release,” recalls Nisa.

Refuting Police claims of weapon snatching and fleeing, Nisa asks, why would a person who is positive about his release try to run?

“Police claimed that they were planning to escape and that’s why they were shot but photos of the incident clearly showed that police story of the incident was not credible. Their hands and legs were tied with cuffs,” she says.

Latief Un Nisa

Zakir’s elder sister Latief Un Nisa.

”He was shot many times. His body was riddled with bullets. He died a painful death,” she says amid tears.

According to the Inquest Panchnama, which is conducted on suspicious killings under section 174 of CRPC by nearest magistrate in presence of two or more witnesses stated that Zakir had received 11 bullet injuries. Half of the bullets received were on backside of the body: one bullet injury on back head, three bullets near spinal column, one on right side of back bone, one on back side of collar bone, one on left hand, one on left hand under arm, one on right side arm and two bullet injuries on Chest near the

Zakir living in a rented accommodation in Warisguda. His elder son had some serious health complications and was going through treatment which was incurring a huge sum of money. But after
his arrest they were rendered homeless as he was the lone bread winner of
the family.

“As Zakir was their lone bread winner, after his arrest, they were struggling hard to meet their needs. After some months they went somewhere and we don’t know where they are presently staying. They didn’t even came to see him dead body either, may be they don’t know that he is dead,” says Nisa.

Last year, Mohammed Ahmed, father of Mohammed Viquardin took Latief-un-Nisa and two other victim families on board and filed a writ petition in state High Court for seeking its intervention in lodging FIR under section 302 against the escort Police party, scrapping of SIT constituted by government and handing over case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) besides compensation to the Victims’ family.

“Viqar’s father is following up the case. I don’t know much about it, but yes, there is no hearing on our petition filed in court,” she says.

“Now all my hopes of Justice are on Allah,” she adds after a deep silence.


A year after Aler encounter: Families ask questions that no one can answer

Aler Encounter: Mohammed Viqaruddin was made to pay with his life for being a devout Muslim, alleges family

Aler Encounter: Mohammed Haneef’s family fights poverty, social exclusion, but justice remains elusive