Rights body seeks report on Andhra Pradesh police firing


Hyderabad : Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission Wednesday issued a notice to the Hyderabad police commissioner seeking a report on the police firing on protestors after Friday's bomb blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here.

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Commission Chairman Justice Subhashini Reddy has asked Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh to submit a report before June 11, when the matter would come up for hearing.

The commission issued the notice after Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a Muslim political party here, submitted a memorandum seeking a probe by the commission.

The bomb blast during prayers at the 17th century mosque last Friday had claimed 16 lives which included five in police firing.

A delegation led by MIM leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi met the commission chairman and submitted a memorandum. He alleged that the police firing on the peaceful protestors was "unwarranted, unprovoked and a blatant violation of human rights".

The memorandum alleged that the some policemen resorted to indiscriminate firing from self loading rifles (SLR) while top officials kept claiming that only rubber bullets were fired. It named four police officials responsible for firing on the protestors.

MIM, which has one MP and five state assembly members in the city, and other Muslim organisations have already demanded a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the bomb blast and the police firing.

A delegation of Muslim leaders Monday met Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to demand a CBI inquiry and warned that there would be serious consequences if the government failed to meet their demands within a week.

The government is in a dilemma whether to order a probe. Though the chief minister Saturday had stated that he was ready for a CBI probe into the blast, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil had advised him to conduct the probe at the local level in view of a large number of cases being handled by CBI.

The government has already ordered a magisterial inquiry into the police firing but the Muslim leaders are demanding a CBI probe.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed Wednesday in Moghalpura near Mecca Masjid in the old city when a local outfit Darasgah Jihad-o-Shadat (DJS) tried to take out a rally to protest the police firing. Police foiled the attempt by DJS from taking out the rally and arrested a few activists.

DJS has given a call for protest next Friday against the blast and the police firing.

Police claim that DJS trains Muslim youth in using 'lathis' like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).