“Munnake haath mein gun rehta, toh na un teenon ko yaheen suladetha (If Munna had a gun in his hand, he would have shot down all three police officers).”
This is what gangster Munna Darbadar alias Sayed Ahmed Ali Hashmikari’s wife Gousia Begum told a group of reporters in her first interview since the January 8 encounter.
This is her account of what happened after 1 pm that Wednesday: “I left for school to hand over the lunch box to my children. On the way to the school, I saw sub-inspectors Mallikarjun Bande, Murali and other policemen who are attached to the Station Bazaar police station walking towards me. I was shocked to see them as there was not a single policeman of Roza police station, under which our area falls,” Begum said.
She said Bande asked her where her husband was. “When I told them he was at home, Bande asked me to take them there because they wanted to talk to him. I told them to wait till I gave my children the lunch box,” she added.
“Bande did not listen to me. He took the lunch box from me and threw it away. Murali pointed his revolver at my head and asked me to take them to my house and threatened to blow my head right away. He started to drag me on the road,” she said.
After reaching her house, Begum alleged that Bande abused her and asked her to tell her husband to open the door.
“Munna opened the door after I called out to him. Once he opened the door, they pushed me on the ground and entered the house. I was immediately taken to Roza police station. At 5 pm, I was informed that my husband was killed in the encounter.”
Begum alleged that Bande had shot Munna in his leg. Munna started running thinking some gangsters were attacking him, she said. He had not identified the police as they were in plain clothes.
“Munna was not afraid of the police. He visited the police station whenever the police called him. Police claim that Munna had a gun. If he had the gun, he would have killed all of them right away,” she said.
She claimed that the only gun in the house was an air-gun that was used to kill rats. “Can anyone kill humans with an air-gun?” she asked.
Begum has also written to the National Human Rights Commission and alleged that the police, on the pretext of capturing Munna, might have planned the encounter to kill Bande due to professional rivalry. She said that there is no earning member in her family and she has to care for her three daughters. She also threatened to commit suicide with her family if justice was not done.
“I want the CID to conduct an inquiry and do justice to me and Bande’s wife,” she said.