Killed in Ranchi protests, Mudassir obtains first division in 10th board exams

Mudassir Alam (14) was killed in police firing in Ranchi during a protest against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma’s disparaging remarks against the prophet Muhammed. He obtained first division with a score of 66.6 percent in his class tenth board examinations, which were announced by the Jharkhand Academic Council just over ten days after Mudassir’s death.

Mudassir was a student at Little Angel High School in Pundag, Ranchi, and his mother, Nikhat Perveen, could not stop crying when she saw the result. 

“Mudassir was a promising student, he used to assure his parents that he would make them proud one day, and look, he did make us proud,” Mudassir’s uncle, Shahid Ayyubi, told Maktoob.

His father, Pervez Alam, is a fruit vendor, and whenever Mudassir had spare time after school, he would go out and help him. Nikhat, his mother, works as a domestic helper and couldn’t stop crying everytime she talked about her son.

“Mudassir never told us what he wanted to be,” recalls Ayyubi, a social worker and President of the Jharkhand Muslim Yuva Manch. “But he was passionate about social work, and he would tell his parents that he wanted to work with me and bring a difference on the social front.”

Ayyubi says that every time they hear about Mudassir, their hearts shatter; on the one hand, his achievement makes them proud, but on the other, they feel helpless.

“His parents worked very hard to provide him whatever they could, we are poor people, we are angry at the administration, we lost our son, and we are doing everything we can to get justice,” Ayyubi added.

Mudassir Alam was shot in his head when the police opened fire on a large crowd of Muslims gathered at Ranchi Main Road near the Daily Market.

Two Muslim youth were fatally shot, and over 18 others were seriously injured. The deceased were identified as Mudassir Alam of Islamnagar and Sahil (19) of Christia Nagar on the Mahatma Gandhi Road. 

Mudassir’s family holds the govt responsible

“Mudassir was only fourteen years old; he had just completed his class tenth board examination, and his results were due in ten days,” Mudassir’s uncle Shahid Ayyubi told Maktoob. 

Ayyubi holds the government responsible for Mudassir’s death. He claims that instead of firing at the crowd, the district administration could have used tear gas or lathi-charged it.

Ayyubi says that Mudassir was a kid and he didn’t deserve to die simply because he took part in a protest.

Speaking to reporters, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi said the killings of two Muslim teenagers in Ranchi due to police firing on 10 June protest were because of the BJP and JMM both. 

“The BJP is responsible because they did not take action against Nupur Sharma before and JMM because the police (under this government) fired on unarmed people and till now there has been no action on them,” Owaisi MP said.

Owaisi said that the government should extend help to families whose children were killed in the protest.

Hyderabad MP also met the families of 14-year-old Mudassir and 19-year-old Sahil.

What happened on JUNE 10? 

On June 10, hundreds of protesters gathered near the Hanuman Mandir at the Ranchi main road, two protesting groups gathered from Doranda and others from Iqra Masjid and intended to demonstrate peacefully at Firayalal Chowk is nearly 200 metres from the main road before it became violent. Firayalal Chowk is an iconic protesting site in Ranchi.

Irfan Khan, state president of the Muslim League who was present at the protest site told Maktoob that when the procession reached the main road near Hanuman mandir, a Hindu group started pelting stones at the procession.

According to Khan, the police shooting began after Singh fired at the crowd. He claims that Bhairo Singh fired at Mudassir from the top of the Hanuman mandir and police fired to save Bhairo Singh, a Hindutva leader accused of attacking Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s convoy in 2021. 

“First there was a light lathi-charge, then they started firing, it seemed like the firing was pre-planned,” Khan claims. 

He says that police could have used water cannons and tear gas to end the protests. 

“Police fired at nearly fifteen people, all of whom were young boys; why were police allowed to fire at an unarmed group? Khan asks.

“Those young men were merely demonstrating to get the government to act against Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal. The administration exacerbated the entire incident, two boys have died, and one is fighting for his life,” Khan added. 

Arshi Qureshi is an independent journalist based in Mumbai.