We were outnumbered, could do little to protect victims: Cops

Bidar: The police have claimed in the aftermath of the mob lynching of the techie from Hyderabad in Murki village bordering Maharashtra last week, that they were painfully outnumbered and could do little to protect the men in the car surrounded by a crowd of over 2,000, which mistook them for childlifters.

“They  were baying for the blood of the four men, who had locked themselves inside their car after it skidded off the road. Raining the vehicle with stones and boulders, the mob demanded that the trio be handed over to it. As the frenzied crowd far outnumbered the police, we threw a cordon around the car and begged them with folded hands to leave it alone, but they did not listen,”  said a senior police officer, who was present at the scene in the village in Kamalanagar taluk.

He claimed the police did not open fire as it did not want to aggravate the situation.  “We tried to pacify the crowd till additional forces arrived from Bidar and other parts of the district,” he added. But it was too late for the software engineer with Accenture, Mohammed Azam Ahmed (32) of Malakpet in Hyderabad, who was working on a project at Google, as he was dragged from the car by a youth identified as Navnath, who tied a rope around his hand to bring him out on the road, where he was thrashed black and blue in the presence of the law men, who could do nothing to stop the people. He died on his way to hospital. Three others in the SUV , Azam- Noor Mohammed (30) and Mohammed Salman (20) from Hyderabad and a Qatar national, Salham Eidal Kubaisi (38), were seriously injured in the attack.

The police blame false messages circulated on WhatsApp for the incident.  Although the police have registered cases against 32 people and taken 28 into judicial custody, the number of arrests could go upto 50 or more based on video clippings of the incident. Many involved have reportedly fled after locking their houses and the police have formed teams to trace them.

Meanwhile,  one of the injured men, Mohammed Afroz, has complained to the police that the mob had stolen Rs 3.70 lakh in cash belonging to Mr  Salam-Ed-Quereshi  from the Maruti Breeza SUV they were travelling in. While Rs 70,000 in cash was in a bag, Rs 3 lakh was in the glove box, he said.  The police have registered a case of theft. 

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