The death toll in the recent violence that occurred in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani has now reached six after a Muslim man succumbed to bullet injuries on Tuesday. 54-year-old Mohammad Israr, resident of Ghafoor Basti, Ward number 24, Kidwai Nagar was shot in the head on February 8 while he went out to look for his two sons who were returning from work, as he was worried due to prevailing violence in the Banbhoolpura area.
Both Suhail and Aman reached home by the time Israr reached the spot. Upon learning that Israr has gone out to find them, the younger one Aman goes behind to find him.
Mohammad Aman, the younger son of the deceased, told Maktoob, “I saw one policeman shooting directly at Papa, the bullet hit him at one side, and came out from the other side piercing his head. And he laid down on the street motionless.”
“I called my elder brother and we took him to Krishna Hospital, and from there he was referred to Sushila Tiwari Hospital where he was getting treatment for six days and doctors declared him dead today” ” the 17-year-old said.
“I used to see him through the glass door of the Intensive care unit of the hospital. I am yet to believe that I can’t see him now”, said Aman adding “Police killed my father in front of my eyes.”
Mohammad Suhail (23) the elder son of Israr who was staying with his father in Sushila Tiwari Hospital was told this morning that his father is no more and they can take him home.
“Police didn’t allow us to take the body home, so we couldn’t perform last rites. My mother and sisters only got to see him outside the hospital, while we were taking the body for the burial”, he said
He further said that police also accompanied them to the graveyard.
“We directly took his body from the mortuary to the graveyard and we were surrounded by the police. Only five family members were allowed to go with the body.”
The family says that they do not want any police action to the complaint because all the police action they are witnessing is against them. Suhail said, “We do not want to make any complaint, our papa is gone now. Those who killed him won’t bring justice to us or our family.”
“Kis se shikayat karen? Police walon se? Unhone hi to maara hai hmare papa ko, Wo Kya karenge (Whom should we complain to? Police? They have killed out father, what will they do?)
Meanwhile, there is strict security outside the deceased Israr’s house and the police are not letting the family go out.
“There is a lot of police placement outside and around. We can’t go out and out relatives who want to come to our home to share the grief can’t come here because of fear” said Suhail.
“Both Aman and Ammi (Mother) are still trying to believe that Papa is no more. Being the youngest Aman was the most liked child of Papa, now he is recalling all his moments with him ever since he is gone.”
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami on Monday announced plans to construct a police station at the site of the now demolished Madrasa and Masjid despite a court order.
“In Banbhoolpura, the area in Haldwani where the demolition occurred, an encroached garden was cleared, recovering several acres of land. Subsequently, acts of arson, stone-pelting, and disturbances ensued, disregarding laws, and resulting in harm to journalists. From this sacred site of Ganges, I announce the establishment of a police station”, said Dhami addressing the huge crowd in Haridwar, who appreciated the spoken word with applause.
A part of his speech was also posted on his X handle where he stated, “This is our government’s clear message to troublemakers and rioters is that anyone who disrupts the peace of the land of the gods will not be spared. There is no place for such perpetrators in Uttarakhand.”
It has been more than 6 days since violence unfolded last Thursday and at least six people have been killed during the violence while the authorities are yet to confirm the actual death toll.
five out of six killed are Muslims. One Prakash, 24, an agricultural studies graduate also lost his life and came to Haldwani in search of work from Bihar, Newslaundry reported.
On Sunday, police arrested 5 Muslims apart from 30 others making the number of arrests 90. However, police say, the “mastermind” of the unrest, Abdul Malik, is yet to be found.
Abdul Malik and his wife Safia Malik are the owners of the now-demolished religious structure in Haldwani.
On Monday, February 12, the curfew lifted a day before in other parts was again imposed and all exit and entry spots were sealed again and remained the same on Tuesday, February 13. Locals say that this was done by observing the “flow of journalists from other parts of the world and hiding the right information.”