Imran (17), only bread earner of his family, killed pointblank by Indore police

By Md. Ali,,

When Mehrun Nisa bade Imran goodbye to work she never knew that next time instead of receiving her son, she would get his dead body. According to Imran’s family, he was killed by two policemen at point blank around 11am on 3rd July 2008.

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Imran, a 17-year-old boy and a resident of Hina Colony in Khujrana, a Muslim ghetto in Indore, was working as a painter near his home. On the day when there emerged a disturbing noise from some mobs, the contractor told him to go home.

It was the day when the Hindutva group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had given a call for “Bharat Bandh” against the withdrawal of the forest land to the Amaranth Shrine Board by the Jammu and Kashmir Government.

Imran was told by his contractor to go home because at that time the VHP activists have allegedly entered some Muslim dominated areas and enforced the “Bandh” leading to a clash between them and the Muslims.

Because of the instigation and provocation of the Muslims by the VHP and the biased attitude of the police the backlash later on took the form of full-fledged riots.

On his return from work Imran was with his younger brother Shahrukh. Both were called by the accused policemen. They took the elder of the two, Imran, and dragged him on the road first and then inserted the gun inside his mouth and shot, leading to his death on the spot.

Shahrukh (right) carries the body of his elder brother

Abdul Rafeeq, father of Imran, talked to about the difficulties that his family is facing since Imran’s murder.

He said that the family got this news at 1 pm. Imran’s mother out of desperation and panic went to the police station but the policemen threw rocks at her and told her to go home because they don’t have the body of her son. They visited many hospitals to find their dead son but could find his body on the next day.

Abdul Rafiq informed that initially he was being given Imran’s dead body without its postmortem, but he refused and insisted on the medical report after which the concerned authorities conducted autopsy of Imran’s body.

Imran belongs to a very poor family. He was the only earning hand of the family of nine. His father who used to drive vehicles in local area is uanable to work because of some problems in his spinal cord since last two years. In Imran’s absence, says Abdul Rafiq, the family does not have sufficient food even to feed the relative who are visiting to console the family.

Abdul Rafiq couldn’t control himself and broke down on the phone describing the body of his son and how mercilessly he was murdered by the people who are supposed to be the protector of citizens.

How poor Imran’s family is and how many problems they are facing can be assessed by what his father had to say: “Now no one can bring Imran back but only if I am provided with any job or something so that the family of eight could survive.”

There are various questions which need to be raised as far as this case is concerned. got to know that the FIR of the case has been registered but there has not been any mention of the two policemen who murdered Imran mercilessly. Although there has been a witness, Shahrukh, of Imran’s murder and who can identify the accused but the report has been registered against the “anonymous” culprits.

Imran’s father said that he is a poor person without any political and financial strength and it is questionable that anybody would dare to raise this matter when the culprit is the administration itself.

When the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) delegation visited riot-hit areas in Indore two days ago, a delegation of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) met the NCM team. It put up the case of Imran among other cases before the NCM.

The NCM team told the delegation that although it does not have any constitutional power to punish anyone but it has noted down the case separately. It will treat the case as a special case because Imran was shot at point blank and the police appear to be involved in the issue.

Imran’s body lying on the street

The delegation appealed to NCM that Imran’s family should be provided with support and security. Sharukh, who is the witness in this case, is a living threat to the police and the administration. It may attempt to harm him.

NCM chairperson Mohamed Shafi Qureshi told the delegation that in the meeting of the full bench of the Commision in Delhi, it will decide what to do with the case, and whether the eyewitnesses in Imran’s case need to be called to Delhi.

The eyewitnesses in other cases are turning hostile because of the threat and pressure on them by the administration. So Shafi Qureshi instructed the SP and DM to provide them with security.

But is police capable of protecting witnesses to its own involvement of the killings of the innocent? contacted the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and asked about the future steps that the PUCL team is planning to take in Imran murder case.

PUCL team said that one has to take every step in this case cautiously, because the police is the direct culprit in the case.

It first first of of all wants to read the postmortem report of Imran’s body, and then it will consult the legal experts on how to take up the case.

That Imran’s family and all the victims of the Indore riots get justice will, to a large extent, depend on the attitude of the BJP government and the local administration towards the case.

The real issue at stake here is justice, be it the case of Imran’s murder or the killing of Anwar Patel and the Sindhi Khen Chand Mafija.

It becomes important because there have been various proposals by many people that we should forgive the police persons who “unconsciously made some mistakes”.

They argue that punishing the police would amount to discourage their morale because after all they managed to control the riots and bring peace in the riot torn areas. The Peace Committees are filled with representatives of the political parties prominently BJP and the Congress.

Although it is really debatable that to what extent the family of Imran, even at the risk of their lives, would go to fight against the inhumanities and brutalities of the administration committed on the name of “bringing peace” and “controlling the riots”, one thing is very much clear. That only the collective support of the civil society throughout the country, timely implementation of the recommendation of the National Commission for the Minorities along with the proper representation by the media can help the victims of the Indore riots including the family of Imran.