A 10-year-old boy who died in celebratory firing during New Year celebrations in north-east Delhi’s Usmanpur was shot “accidentally” by his own father, police said on Saturday. The man told police he was “checking out” a country-made pistol.
The father, Yaseen Malik, was arrested on Friday night and booked for murder and destroying evidence. The alleged owner of the weapon, Ravi Kashyap, was also arrested for destroying evidence and illegal possession of firearms, police said.
Yaseen had tried to mislead investigators for four days during which he had pointed his finger at several people in the neighbourhood, said Atul Kumar Thakur, deputy commissioner of police (north-east). “For four days, he concealed his crime from his family and his wife,” said the DCP.
The firing occurred at 10.55pm on December 31 while the boy, Rehan, was dancing with other youngsters from the neighbourhood.
“Yaseen was standing outside his house and watching his son dance when he saw Kashyap fiddling with a country-made pistol. Yaseen was interested in the weapon and wanted to check it out,” said the DCP.
A resident of Loni in Ghaziabad, Kashyap was in the neighbourhood to celebrate New Year with his sister. “When he was a juvenile, Kashyap was booked for robbery. He had brought the weapon along with him,” said the DCP.
Yaseen had just taken the pistol in his hand and asked Kashyap, “Kya ye chalti hai? (does this fire)”, when the weapon went off. “Yaseen had not even fully raised his hand in the air,” said the DCP.
Yaseen told the police he immediately realised he had accidentally shot a child, but he wasn’t certain that it was his son. “His first response was to hand back the pistol to Kashyap and run into his house,” said the DCP.
By the time Yaseen emerged from his house seconds later, his son was already dead. The bullet had pierced his cheek and then entered his abdomen, police said.
The investigators, meanwhile, struggled to find any eyewitness. A video shot by some neighbours of the festivities recorded the sound of the gunshot, but not the visuals.
“Nearly 50 people who were at the crime spot were under our radar. Since none of them confessed to the crime, we began the process of ruling out suspects based on their locations, activities and other alibis. We also used the video footage to determine that,” said the DCP.
On Friday, the police were left with only four suspects that included Kashyap and Yaseen. “We had no reason to suspect the boy’s father and we decided to grill Kashyap. He finally broke down and revealed Yaseen’s role,” said the officer.
Kashyap has confessed to the crime and the weapon has been recovered, the DCP said. “He is grieving and remorseful. He claims that he did not even intend to fire the weapon,” said the officer.
Source: Hindustan Times