On June 4, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested a man identified as Shil Kumar from a village in Shravasti under charges of rape and murder. The victim is a 11-year-old Hindu girl, who was raped and murdered by the accused.
The victim’s family claimed that the accused is a Muslim man identified as Muzaffar Ali son of Farooq Ali and that he is a Rohingya Muslim.
A First Information Report (number–107/2023) was registered at the Gilaula police station of the Shravasti district on June 3, 2023.
In his complaint, the victim’s father, Ram Mohan Pathak told the police that, he lives with his family in Rampur Paida village of the Shravasti district. On June 3, his daughter Shruti Pathak (name changed, surname retained) was sitting at home when Shil arrived and took Shruti with him saying he had some work.
After some time when Shruti did not return home, Pathak started looking for her, not only Shruti but Shil was also missing, he had done something wrong with her and took away his daughter.
Following this complaint letter, an FIR was registered under sections of kidnapping IPC 363.
Shravasti police released a press note on June 4, stating they have arrested the accused Shil Kumar Parevpur village near the Behraich-Balrampur highway. After interrogation, the accused led them to the dead body of the minor victim, near the Mirchiha canal, under the bushes. Prima facie it looks like the minor was murdered after rape.
Superintendent of Police Prachi Singh said prima facie it seems that the girl was killed after being raped.
The FIR was initially registered on the charge of kidnapping while IPC sections related to rape and murder, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were added after the body was found, the police officer said.
Organiser called up the victim’s father Ram Mohan on June 7 who said that “I want justice for my daughter who was killed by this man mercilessly”.
He added the accused Shil is a Muslim man and when the police asked about his father’s name he said, it was Farooq Ali. The actual name of Shil is Muzaffar Ali who posed as Shil and lived in the colony for years.
He is a Rohingya Muslim and has been living as a Hindu with name Shil Kumar son of Prem Nath Pathak.
Asked about the work he does, Ram Mohan said, Shil was a Kabadiwala and has a Shiavalaya, a small temple of Bhagwan Shiva at his home. His mother is also a Muslim woman but lives like a Hindu as if they accepted Sanatan Dharma after moving to India.
Recalling the events from the fateful day, Ram Mohan said, it was around 1 in the afternoon that Shil came asking for Shruti. Shil has a sister-in-law who has newborn babies, Shruti liked playing with them. When Shil came asking for Shruti, he assumed her sister-in-law would have called her.
It is a common practice in small towns, nothing looked fishy, he added.
He said, Shil lived like a Brahmin and followed all the religious practices as observed by Hindus, be it going into Durga Puja, Ganpati Visarjan or anything organised in the colony. If something suspicious would have been traced, his daughter would have been alive.
He added he works as a social worker while his wife is an ASHA (ANM), he has five children other than Shruti, the eldest of his daughters is an undergraduate, the other one is doing her intermediate, his son is in High School while the other one is in class 2. Shruti was studying in class 7, he added.
Asked why did he not include the actual name of Shil in the FIR, he added, the documents show he is Shil and not Muzaffar, the police considered the documents only.
This correspondent posted an update on Twitter asking the Sharvasti police to revise the press note, which showed the name of the accused as Shil and not Muzaffar, asking to investigate the matter and get to the bottom of this as it is a matter of national security.
To which the Shravasti police replied saying, “Sir, Whatever action has been taken in this case has been done on the basis of papers. Action will be taken according to whatever evidence is given. Please don’t twist the matter unnecessarily, otherwise, strict action will be taken against you for spreading communalism.”
Notably, Organiser has been calling the Gilaula police station since morning but the number mentioned in the FIR as well as the website is currently switched off.
A local Hindi Daily Newspaper reported the incident the details in the news read, the name of Shil Kumar’s mother is Rubina. Ramferan Mishra was a retired postman whose wife died long ago. Almost five years ago, Ramferan brought a woman from Bengal named Rubina with her son Muzaffar Ali. After marriage, Rubina became Suman Mishra and her son Muzaffar became Shil Kumar Mishra. (video statement can be found here)
Shil was already married and had a child when Ramferan brought them home. During the investigation, the police found that a number of calls were made from Shil’s phone to Bangladesh. During strict interrogation they accepted that they were Rohingya Muslim, says the report.
As of now no official statement regarding the findings has been shared by the Shravasti police, the official number of the police station still goes switched off.