Indian-origin Kenyan Killed By Police In Case of Mistaken Identity: Sushma Swaraj
Bunty Shah was shot dead when Kenyan security forces were conducting anti-terror operations near his house.
In an incident that led to widespread outrage in Kenya, a 32-year-old businessman of Indian origin was shot dead by the police inside his home in a case of mistaken identity recently. He was declared dead on arrival to the hospital.
In a series of tweets on Nov. 5, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the Kenyan Police have regretted the incident, which happened during an anti-terror operation on Oct. 22. She said: “I have received the report from Indian High Commission in Nairobi. The deceased Bunty Shah was a Kenyan national of Indian origin. Kenyan security forces were conducting anti-terror operations on the building across Shah’s residence.”
Swaraj added: “Bunty thought this was an intrusion by armed burglars and fired in the air. The security forces returned the fire resulting in Bunty’s death. Kenyan Police have regretted the incident.”
Swaraj emphasized that the Indian High Commission will provide all assistance to the bereaved family, and expressed her condolences. She took cognizance of the incident when another Twitter user Neha Parikh approached her on the social media playform. The minister sought a report from the High Commission on Nov. 4 through Twitter. Suchitra Durai, the Indian Ambassador in Kenya, responded saying she would “revert shortly”.
Bunty Shah belonged to the Gujarati family that owns Bobmil Industries Ltd, a mattress manufacturing company. He was cremated at the Hindu Shamshan Bhumi in Nairobi. He is survived by his wife and six-month-old baby.
Shah’s family, however, is not satisfied with the version of events narrated by the police. They have written to the independent Policing Oversight Authority for a speedy investigation into his death, saying that they would otherwise get private investigators involved. The family called the police apology “too little too late”, the local media reported.
The police are initially said to have denied that they had killed Shah during an anti-terror operation. The Nairobi Police, in a statement that was posted on their Facebook page, said that Shah kept firing at them despite being warned. The Shah family refuted this version of events.
According to witnesses quoted by the The Nation newspaper, hooded people came into Shah’s compound in three vehicles after damaging the main gate.
Shah’s uncle Vipin says he was shot at close range on his chest through the bedroom window when he woke up to find out the source of the commotion.