Cab driver killed in Greater Noida; family allege religious angle, police deny claim

On Sunday, a 45-year-old cab driver who was allegedly attacked by his passengers, lost his life at a private hospital.

As per the police, they found Aftab Alam injured in his cab in Greater Noida’s Badalpur area. He was then admitted to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to the police, Alam had picked up a passenger from Gurugram through a ride-hailing mobile application on Sunday. He was supposed to drop the passenger in Bulandshahr, however, while returning he was attacked in Badalpur.

“A patrolling vehicle that was passing by found the Delhi-registered taxi parked along the Badalpur-Dadri bypass road. When checked, the victim was found severely injured on the seat adjoining the driver’s seat. The police rushed him to a hospital where he died during treatment,” Harish Chander, deputy commissioner of police, central Noida, said in a statement to the media.

As per the police officers, it appears as if after dropping the passenger in Bulandshahr, Alam had picked some other passengers for Delhi who didn’t have any prior booking. “En route, they seem to have had a fight and the driver was attacked. The suspects are on the run, and the mobile phone of the deceased is also missing,” the officer said.

The police have filed an FIR at the Badalpur station under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery). They also said that they have identified the suspects and efforts are being made to arrest them. Meanwhile, Alam’s family has alleged that he was lynched by three suspects.

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Alam’s elder son, Mohammad Sabir said, “My father noticed something unusual with the activities of the three passengers. He made a phone call to me and placed his mobile phone by the side without uttering a word.”

Sabir added, “I recorded 41-minute audio. At 8:39 minutes, the three persons asked my father to utter – Jai Shri Ram.”

However, later Alam’s mobile phone’s battery died and it switched off. His elder son said that the family rushed to the Mayur Vihar police station and informed the police.

“The police traced my father’s last location, as per his mobile phone, to Chithera village in Badalpur police station area in Greater Noida. We rushed to Greater Noida and found the vehicle parked while my father was not there, at 11pm. The police informed me that he has been rushed to a private hospital in Ghaziabad. We went to the hospital where my father was already dead. He had received injuries in his head and body. We suspect he was lynched by those suspects in a hate crime,” Sabir said.

As per Sabir, he had asked the Badalpur police to add the content of audio in the FIR, but the police had assured him that they will add the audio once they investigate it.

Deputy commissioner of police, Noida Central, Harish Chander, denied the claims of the incident being a case of lynching. “The suspects were asking some vendor to chant Jai Shri Ram, and not to the taxi driver. We have identified the suspects through CCTV cameras from a toll plaza and launched a search to arrest them. The suspect had boarded the cab from Bulandshahr. Later the case will be transferred to the concerned district,” he said.

As of now, the case is under investigation and search operations to find the culprits are on.

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