Murder accused in UP studies law to fight his own case
Meerut (Uttar Pradesh), Dec 10 : When he was 18, Amit Chaudhary found himself entangled in a crime he did not commit.
Framed for the murder of two constables in Meerut in 2011 and wrongly accused of being a gangster, Chaudhary's life suddenly went awry.
The then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, ordered the immediate arrest of the culprit and Amit, who was with his sister in Shamli district when the incident took place, was made one of 17 accused in the case, facing stringent charges under the IPC and National Security Act.
Accused of being part of the notorious Kail gang that had hatched the murder plot, Chaudhary endured two years behind bars, facing charges that threatened to mar his future.
Chaudhary, however, turned this adversity into an opportunity and studied law to prove his innocence.
A farmer's son from Kirthal village in Baghpat, he said, "In Muzaffarnagar jail, dreaded gangsters like Anil Dujana and Vicky Tyagi (both killed in encounters) tried to enroll me into their gangs. The jailor was good-natured, and he allowed me into a barrack where gangsters were not lodged."
Released on bail in 2013, Chaudhary embarked on a journey to clear his name "so that his family could walk with their head high in society".
He pursued study of law, achieving academic milestones that included a BA, LLB and LLM, eventually passing the Bar Council's exam.
Armed with legal knowledge, he took charge of his own case.
"The case dragged on at a snail's pace with no statements recorded. By that time, I had completed all academic and other formalities to join the Bar as a lawyer and pursued the case with a single-minded focus."
He added: "I, as a lawyer, representing my own case, was standing right in front of the officer who stood in the witness box, and yet he could not identify me. This perplexed the judge and convinced her that I was framed wrongly."
The court's decision, which came only recently, exonerated 13 individuals, including Chaudhary, stating, "The prosecution has failed to prove the offence of criminal conspiracy to kill constables Krishanpal and Amit Kumar and loot their rifles, beyond a reasonable doubt."
Meanwhile, the real orchestrators of the murder -- Sumit Kail, Neetu and Dharmendra -- faced different fates. Kail was killed in a 2013 encounter, Neetu received a life sentence and a fine of Rs 20,000 for killing the constable and taking his guns, and Dharmendra succumbed to cancer before the verdict.
While Chaudhary's dreams of joining the Army were shattered, he remains resilient.
"Now I want to pursue a PhD in criminal justice. I think God has chosen me to fight for other unfortunate ones," he said.