Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ranchi police firing; ‘Want to bring facts on record’: Wife of injured Muslim protester tells to court

Afreen Perween, wife of Mohammad Nadeem Alam who is under treatment for bullet wounds during police violence against Muslim protesters in Ranchi on 10 June, has filed an interlocutory application (IA) with regard to a Public Interest Litigation in the Jharkhand High Court, stating that the authorities were “hostile” to the victims of police violence.

The PIL was filed in the court, seeking an NIA investigation into the June 10 incident.

Perween through her lawyer Shadab Ansari, filed the IA seeking to bring a video related to the violence on record, Indian Express reported.

“…the video shows stone-pelting but after some time police was able to control the protesters…then a crowd gathered near Hanuman Mandir and started raising ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogans and thereafter both sides resorted to stone-pelting. Police allowed the other side to gather near the temple which led the situation to deteriorate…police started firing at the protesters without warning or using other crowd-controlling means,” Perween said to the court.

The police also fired above the waist, leading to the death of two Muslim teenagers Mudassar and Sahil and that the police acted in a “partisan manner”, she said in the application.

A teenager Mudassir (15), and one Sahil (21) had died of bullet injuries. Their families while talking to Maktoob said that the government authorities and Hindutva mobs are responsible for the brutal killing of their beloved. Eight others, including a policeman, too, had sustained bullet injuries and are currently being treated.

According to Indian Express, Jharkhand Police had filed five FIRs at two Ranchi police stations, naming 22 Muslim men for the violence, and five Hindu men for assembling near the temple in violation of the Section 144 (CrPC) that was in force.

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. 

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