In Noida on Monday morning, a cab driver was found dead, tied to the side of his car by the police. The deceased was identified, Aftab Alam. The police had revealed that the driver had been driving from Bulandshahr to Delhi when two passengers had boarded his cab.
The driver's son has now claimed on the basis of his last recorded phone call with his father, that he was forced to say 'Jai Shri Ram'. The police have, however, denied the possibility of this being a hate crime.
Cab driver murdered, family alleges hate crime
45-year-old Aftab Alam was driving from Bulnadshahr to Delhi, when two men boarded his vehicle on Monday night. The police have said that the two men had 'criminal intentions' and were drunk. A case of murder was registered in the cases under Section 302 of the IPC, Section 394 for voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery, and 201 for causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender.
The victim's son Mohammad Sabir a 22-year-old had received a call from his father after 7:30 pm and Sabir recorded the phone call sensing something was wrong. In the audio file which was accessed by The Wire at the 8:39 mark the men can be heard saying, "Jai Shri Ram, bol, bol, Jai shri Ram."
It was reported that Sabir had reported the case to the local police station. The Greater Noida Police found the cab driver in his car with the seat belt on having suffered injuries to the head. He was taken to the hospital where he died under treatment.
The case has caused a huge question to form in the minds of the public about whether or not this a hate crime. The police, however, has denied this. ACP Zone 2 Noida, Rajiv Kumar said, "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," as reported by TNIE.
The investigation is still underway into what caused the death of Aftab Alam. Further details will be published as and when received.