The family of a cab driver, allegedly murdered by two men who boarded his vehicle on the way to Delhi from UP’s Bulandshahr, has alleged the suspects forced Aftab to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ before his death. The Noida Police have denied the allegation.
The police said Aftab was driving from Bulandshahr towards Delhi on Monday when two suspects “with criminal intentions” hailed the cab. “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,” said the police.
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 Aftab to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
“We received information on Monday night about possible criminal activity in a cab coming 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,” said Rajiv Kumar, ACP 2 Zone 2 Noida.
A clip has gone 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 the ACP.
Aftab’s son Sarib said he received a call from his father at 7.57 pm when he was near a toll plaza in Greater Noida. Aftab’s phone was apparently 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 inaudible.
Aftab’s family says his phone battery was exhausted in the next 15 minutes. Sarib then approached the Delhi police. He was told that the incident occurred within Gautam Buddh Nagar jurisdiction. The Greater Noida Police found the cab, with the driver in his seat with the seat belt on along with blunt injuries to the head. He died even as his treatment began.
Aftab belonged to Mayur Vihar in east Delhi and drove for a private company, his family said. He is survived by his wife and three children.