By TwoCircles.net News Desk,
New Delhi: At a people’s tribunal organized by various civil and human rights organizations in Varanasi on November 18, the family of two Muslim youngsters killed in a police firing in the city in March this year and an eyewitness were honored.
Mukhtar Ahmad, the eyewitness and Salim, the father of the deceased two youngsters Moin Akhtar and Khali-uj –Jama whose life lost in the police firing were honored by Dr. Sayeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India in the People’s Tribunal on the socio-economic and educational conditions of the state weavers and artisans from Varanasi, Tanda, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur districts of Uttar Pradesh at the Paradkar Smriti Bhawan press club in Maidagin, Varanasi.
The tribunal was organized with the joint collaboration of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Bunkar Dastakar Adhikar Manch (BDAM), Voice of People (VOP), Education Resource Centre (ERS), Citizen Front and Jaradoj Dastakar Union and supported by Sir Dorabji Tata trust (SDTT) at the Paradkar Smriti Bhawan press club in Maidagin, Varanasi.
Dr. Sayeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India chaired the tribunal. The other jury members were Muniza Rafiq Khan, Registrar, Gandhi Vidya Sansthan, Mr. Mohan Lal Panda, Mr. Kamlesh Chandra and Mr. R.B Pal, Chief Secretary, Voice of People.
The Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human rights (PVCHR), a human rights organization, had immediately intervened in the Bazardiha police firing on March 13, 2009, a few hours after the incident.
On March 23, the group sent a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner of India with the plea to take the matter seriously and urgently and allow the government to provide appropriate compensation to the family of deceased and injured people so that they could be provided some relief.
For several months after the incident Police had been forcing Mukhar Ahmad to change the statement. They threatened him that if he did not fall in line they would implicate his son Mobin in a false case. Constant threats have been given to him but he dared to take up the cudgels on behalf of the deceased and survivors.
PVCHR with the collaboration of a Danish organization Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT) has provided psychological support through testimonial therapy to Mukhtar Ahmad and Salim, the father of the deceased two youngsters Moin Akhtar and Khali-uj –Jama.
“ When Mukhtar’s testimony was read at the people’s tribunal on November 18 the sign of grief was noticed on the face of the people present in the hall. While being honored Mr. Salim hold tears in his eyes and Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad was feeling proud from inside. Eight other injured survivors of police firing were also present there,” said Shirin Shabana Khan, Assistant Director (Communication), PVCHR/JMN.
The Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities declared in 2006 includes the Prevention & Control of Communal Riots i.e. Prevention of communal incidents, Prosecution for communal offences and Rehabilitation of victims of communal riots. Besides, on 24th March 2009 National Minority Commission in letter no. PS/14/1/2009-NCM wrote to District Magistrate of Varanasi that the Commission has desired that the incident may please be enquired into and a report may please be sent to this Commission for perusal. Nonetheless, the hapless survivors of Bazardiha police firing have not been given any compensation and justice.