Chidambaram to look into March ’09 police firing on Muslims in Varanasi

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has promised to look into the indiscriminate police firing on Muslim-dominated Bazardiha locality on March 11, 2009 in which two youngsters Moin Akhtar and Khali-uj –Jama were killed and several others injured.

In his December 21, 2009 letter to Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Chidambaram said he is looking into the demand for implementation of Section (D) (Prevention & Control of Communal Riots) of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities in the context of the Varanasi police firing.



Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, Convenor, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi had on 23rd November 2009 sent a letter to Khurshid detailing the incident and the efforts by his NGO to console the victim families. Raghuvanshi, in his letter, had demanded the government: (1) To provide compensation to the families of the deceased and injured persons. (2) To direct National authority to order state & district authority for the fair investigation by the independent agency such as state CBCID. (3) To provide psychological support through testimonial therapy to the survivors of torture and organized violence. He had demanded implementation of Section D of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities.
Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid forwarded the letter to Home Minister P. Chidambaram on 11th December 2009. Chidambaram wrote to Khurshid on 21st December 2009: “I have received your letter dated 11.12.2009 along with a letter of Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi, Convenor, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, Varanasi regarding implementation of Section (D) (Prevention & Control of Communal Riots) of Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities. I am having the matter looked into.”

PVCHR with the collaboration of Danish organization Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT) has been providing psychological support through testimonial therapy to Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad and Mr. Salim, the father of the deceased two youngsters Mr. Moin Akhtar and Mr. Khali-uj –Jama who were killed on 11th March 2009 in indiscriminate police firing on Bazardiha Muslim minority in Varanasi.

They also organized a people’s tribunal on the issue on November 11, 2009 and reiterated their demand for proper compensation to the victims and full inquiry into the incident.

List of those killed or injured in the police firing:

    1. Mohammad Moin Akhtar (died) aged 22 years son of Mr Mukhtar Ahmad resident of Galla Bazardiha under Bhelupura police station.

    2. Khalik-uj-jama (died) aged 19 years son of Mohammad Salim resident of Rajanagar Murgiyaatola under Bazardiha police station.

    3. Abdul Rahman (Injured) aged 23 years son of Abdul Badd.

    4. Akbar Ali (Injured) aged 25 years son of Asagar Ali.

    5. Mohammad Asalam (injured) aged 25 years son of Shobarati.

    6. Gulzar Ahmad (Injured) aged 20 years son of Nasim Akhatar.

    7. Abdul Salaam (Injured) aged 20 years son of Dildar Ahmad.

    8. Dildar (Injured) son of Sageer.

    9. Ansar Ahmad (Injured) son of Sharfuddin.

    10. Vaseem Ahmad (Injured) aged 24 years son of Riyaz Ahmad

Two days after the people’s tribunal, which was covered by TwoCircles.net, Raghuvanshi sent the detailed letter consisting demands to Prime Minister, UP Chief Minister and Union Minority Affairs Minister among others.

Full text of Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi’s letter:

To,

Prime Minister

Government of India

New Delhi.

Subject: regarding implementation of Section D of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities’

Respected Sir,

Greetings from PVCHR, Citizen Front and BDAM

Taking the reference of Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities declared in 2006 section (D) Prevention & Control of Communal Riots.

Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) with the collaboration of Danish organization Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT) provides psychological support through testimonial therapy to Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad and Mr. Salim, the father of the deceased two youngsters Mr. Moin Akhtar and Mr. Khali-uj –Jama whose life gulp on 11th March, 09 in indiscriminate police firing on Bazardiha Muslim minority.

When the testimony of Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad and Mr. Salim was read, the sign of grief was noticed on the face of the people present in the People’s Tribunal. While being honored by Dr. Sayeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India Mr. Salim hold tears in his eyes and Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad feel proud from inside. Eight other injured survivors of police firing were also present there.

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), Nalanda, Citizen Front and Jaradoj Dastakar Union and supported by Sir Dorabji Tata trust (SDTT). The tribunal was chaired by Dr. Sayeda Hameed, Member of Planning Commission; Government of India. The other jury members were Muniza Rafiq Khan, Registrar, Gandhi Vidya Sansthan, Dr. Mohan Lal Panda, Mr. Kamlesh Chandra and Mr. R.B Pal, Voice of People (VOP).

It was published on Two Circle. Net, please see the given below URL http://twocircles.net/2009nov21/varanasi_police_firing_victim_family_honored_people_s_tribunal.html

The Survivors were not only psychological healed but also actively participate in the follow up visit of Bazardiha by Dr. Sayeda Hameed on 19 November, 09,which shows the process of empowerment of participatory and inclusive democracy at grass root level.

    Testimony of Mukhtar Ahmed (father of deceased Moin Akhtar)

(Taken by Mr. Upendra Kumar under the pilot project "Capacity Building of Testimonial Therapy in India" with the joint venture of PVCHR and RCT)

I Mukhar Ahmed live in N 12/29 Bazardeeha Varanasi. I am citizen of India. Earlier I weave sari, but after plight, I nourish my family with the small provision grocery shop.

On 11th March, 09 Mata Prasad hold Matkafod in front of his house. Hindu brother from Bazardiha, Khojawa, Patiya and Sudamapur gathered there. They burst Matki (small earthen jar) at 10:30 in the morning. The procession moves off to Kohlua mosque in the emissary of BJP member Mr. Vijay Viswakarma. They fling dirt, colors and wine bottle and roared slogan "denigrate Pakistan and denigrate Islam." What we have to do with Pakistan, we are Indians but on denigrate Islam community people were silent as the demonstrators were drunk.

The situation was repeating from last three years. Earlier we wipe color as the precautionary measure to maintain the communal harmony. But this year it was excessive which hearted the elder people.

I was sipping tea and my elder son Moin went to purchase soap and shampoo. I heard the conversation and moved to know the reason. I stand with other 300 – 400 people. Few elder people asked to the 25 – 35 policemen posted near Mosque "In your presence how the color and dirt fling on mosque. Bazardeeha police outpost incharge Mr. Shamsher says, oh leave it, what happened if they did so?

Elderly people demands for the arrest of the people involved. Shamsher Singh with green – eyed and angrily tell off, "go away otherwise I will break your leg, mob warn to surround police outpost if the demonstrator is not arrested.

Ignoring the conversation police precedes to the place of the matkafod and we also followed them and again put our demand for the arrest. Again he threat in the policing behavior. Meanwhile a stone from the Mata Prasad house hit on the solder of one police and the angered policemen start broking his door. In wee another stone from opposite side hit the wall. Agitated policemen and Shamsher Singh, police check post incharge started firing. They were not ordered for the firing neither we got prior alarm. I with 25 – 30 people hid myself in the mosque, due to immediate police firing.

My son Moin was running alone. I tried to pull him in the mosque but he moved few step ahead. I was staring him from the aperture. I was feeling powerless from inside. I started praying for his life with heavy heart. One policeman says to Moin by abusing him, "what are you doing here, go away, hearing this I felt reinvigorate and thought my child is saved. With open eyes I saw Shamsher Singh fired and it hit on his right chest. He ran and fallen in the gallery. I vigorously cried, I was restlessness and did not know what to do and thinking he is dead or alive. I bitterly started crying and people start consoling me. I saw in mobile it was 11 am and my son died after few minutes.

Though we rushed to Janta hospital but he was declared dead. My younger son Mobin with other 4 neighbours took the body of Moin to his uncles’ house in Rewari Talab. Policemen came after looking the mob and took Moin’s body in his custody for the postmortem.

After bringing Moin’s body to home, police were in numerous than the public in front of my house. Police was pressurizing for immediate burial of my son killed in the firing in presence of them, the burial place at around 5.30am.

Please see Mukhtar’s testimony in Hindi on give below URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDkoZA63K5E and of Mr. Salim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A0pcrw0rxM

PVCHR has immediately intervened in the Bazardiha police firing case; after few hours of incidence India Today published on its online edition, please visithttp://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/32039/LATEST%20NEWS/1+killed+in+Holi+violence+in+UP.html

Please visit the URL news published in times of India; http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Varanasi/What-is-bigger-tragedy-Clash-or-penury/articleshow/4264429.cms

On 13th March, 2009 FIR lodged against Shamsher Singh In-charge of Bazardiha police out-post, R.B. Singh Station House Officer of Bhelupur police station, Babu Lal local leader, Vijay Vishawakarma, local corporator, Sanjay Nath Tiwari Station House Officer of Sigra police station, Rajkumar and Mata Prasad under section 302, 307, 147,148, 149, 504, 506, 337, 295, of Indian Penal Code.

FIR can be viewed at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22246779/FIR-in-the-case-of-Bazardiha-police-firing

Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi submitted to NHRC in letter no. 52089/24/72/08-09 (group III) that, on holi mischievous tried to disturb communal harmony by throwing color on Gausia Madarsa. Administration takes appropriate action on appropriate time to control the mob by using police force. Police did air firing on the order of the magistrate to helter the mob. In the air firing two were killed and eight mischievous were injured, who were throwing stone from the roof.

However the postmortem report of Moin and Khalikujama proves the direct police firing. Please see FIR: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22246596/Post-Mortem-Report-of-Moin,

http://www.scribd.com/doc/22246660/Post-Mortem-Report-of-Khaliku-Jama

Mukhtar says, "Police had been forcing me to change the statement. If do not fall in line then they would implicate my son in false case. Constant threats are given to me as I have dared to take up the cudgels on behalf of the deceased and survivors."

On 23rd March, 09 letter was sent to Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi with plea 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. Please see letter on given below URL

http://pvchr.blogspot.com/2009/03/open-letter-to-election-commission-of_23.html

Although on 24th March, 09 National Minority Commission in letter no. PS/14/1/2009-NCM wrote to District Magistrate of Varanasi, the Hon’ble Chairperson of this Commission has desired that the incident may please be enquired into and a report may please be to this Commission for his perusal. Still the hapless survivors of Bazardiha police firing have not been given any compensation and justice

Pushed to the corner, survivors of the police firing are languishing in penury. As Nisar Ahmed says." I was sole bread earner for my family. Now it’s quite difficult to get a square meal a day. Police fired ruthlessly on my right arm and left arm pit. One bullet pierced through my ankles. I suffer from excruciating pain and I have no money to purchase medicines."


Incapacitated Abdul Rehman recounts, "Bullet pierced through my left thigh and turned me into a physical wreek. Neighbours showed their generosity and my operation was possible. Still a bone grafting needs to be done. After that I can walk on my own without being dependent on the crutches.

Please see complete petition at:

http://pvchr.blogspot.com/2009/11/india-police-savagery-continues-in.html

http://testimony-india.blogspot.com/2009/11/mockery-of-state-government-of-uttar.html

Therefore it is kind request :

    · To provide compensation to the families of the deceased and injured persons.

    1. Mohammad Moin Akhtar (died) aged 22 years son of Mr Mukhtar Ahmad resident of Galla Bazardiha under Bhelupura police station.

    2. Khalik-uj-jama (died) aged 19 years son of Mohammad Salim resident of Rajanagar Murgiyaatola under Bazardiha police station.

    3. Abdul Rahman (Injured) aged 23 years son of Abdul Badd.

    4. Akbar Ali (Injured) aged 25 years son of Asagar Ali.

    5. Mohammad Asalam (injured) aged 25 years son of Shobarati.

    6. Gulzar Ahmad (Injured) aged 20 years son of Nasim Akhatar.

    7. Abdul Salaam (Injured) aged 20 years son of Dildar Ahmad.

    8. Dildar (Injured) son of Sageer.

    9. Ansar Ahmad (Injured) son of Sharfuddin.

    10. Vaseem Ahmad (Injured) aged 24 years son of Riyaz Ahmad

    · To direct National authority to order state & district authority for the fair investigation by the independent agency such as state CBCID. Noted: as mentioned in the revised guideline on 2nd February, 2003

    · To provide psychological support through testimonial therapy to the survivors of torture and organized violence (TOV), for the Rehabilitation of victims of communal riots and Prosecution for communal offences as the unfragmented self suffering will facilitate in the speedy trial. To use testimonial therapy through National Minority Commission and Ministry of Minority.

Sincerely Yours

(Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi)

Convener

Enclosure:

    1. Testimonial Therapy "Giving Voice"

    2. Article to be publication to Torture: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture Feb, 09; Testimonial Therapy: A pilot project to improve psychological wellbeing among survivors of torture in India.

    3. A copy of FIR

    4. A copy of post mortem report of Moin & Khaliku-Jama

    5. A copy of letter sent to Chief Election Commissioner

    6. A copy of the news paper clipping.

    7. A copy of online news.

    8. C.D of the testimony of Mukhtar and Salim.

C.C

    4. Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of State (Independent Charge)
    for Minority Affairs, Joint Secretary (Admin), 11th Floor, Paravaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003, Phone No 011-24364271.

  1. Ms. Mayawati, Chief Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, INDIA, Fax: + 91 52 2223 0002 / 2223 9234, E-mail: [email protected]

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