Jobs @ MG
UP police mows down five
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow
blood thirsty UP police gunned down five Muslim youths protesting against
the arrest of Tablighi Jamaat people from Khajoor wali Masjid in old
Lucknow area of Wazirbagh. It was just a co-incidence that the central
government had imposed a ban on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)
on the same day and the Lucknow police raided the SIMI office in the same
locality and arrested three of its activists Humam Ahmad, Obaidur Rahman
and Ashfaq Ahmad. Both these incidents got so much mixed up that the
saffronised administration got a golden opportunity to blame Muslim youths
for violence on the arrest of SIMI activists. It may be remembered that
the same UP police had gunned down two Muslim youths on the eve of
Prophetís birth anniversary (5 June 2001) just because they had
protested against the evil designs of two police constables against a
hapless Muslim girl of minor age.
In the small hours of 27 September, Sadatganj police raided Khajoorwali
Masjid and arrested 40 people of a Tablighi Jamaat. At the same time they
raided the SIMI office in the same locality and arrested the three
above-mentioned office bearers. The Tablighi Jamaat people were released
and deported out of city after interrogation but the damage was done.
Immediately after Fajr Namaz the news regarding the arrest of Tablighi
Jamaat people spread like a wild fire and Muslims, mostly youths, gheraoed
the Sadatganj police station demanding the immediate and unconditional
release of Tablighi Jamaat people and refused the administrationís
repeated assurance that they have already been released and deported . The
mob wanted to know their whereabouts if they have actually been released.
Sensing the trouble the police shifted the SIMI activists to Talkatora
police station which further strengthened the doubt of the mob that there
is something wrong at the bottom. Rumours spread all over the old Lucknow
area and the over enthusiastic youths started compelling the traders to
down their shutters. In the meantime their number also swelled into
The top brass of the district Administration including District.
Magistrate Jeevesh Nandan, Senior Superintendent of Police BB Bakshi, SP
(east), RKS Rathore and others reached the spot and tried to pacify the
mob. Samajwadi Party leader and younger brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav,
Shivpal Singh Yadav and other senior leaders of the party also reached the
spot and spoke to the officers who agreed to release the SIMI activists on
personal bond and asked the five respectable persons of the area to
accompany them to police station and meet the SIMI activists to see for
themselves that no third degree method has been adopted against them.
Shivpal Singh Yadav told MG that after this offer and the acceptance by
the saner elements of the community he went back to attend the assembly
gherao programme of his party. But the BJP and the district administration
obviously under pressure from political quarters is now fully blaming the
Samajwadi Party for the trouble, so much so that Mulayam Singh Yadav has
personally warned the concerned officers to behave in a democratic manner
and not indulge in political games at the instructions of their political
bosses other-wise in the event of a Samajwadi government. coming into
power they will face the music. But according to reliable sources the
district administration is planning to involve Samajwadi Party activists
Shahid Rizvi (corporator) Ravi Das Mehrotra (ex-MLA) and Shivpal Singh
Yadav in the case for inciting communal riot.
In the meantime someone from the mob allegedly threw a stone on the police
injuring one sub inspector of the notorious PAC. This was the sufficient
ground for the PAC to go berserk and it started wielding lathi on the mob
which was retaliated by brick-batting. Police then resorted to teargas
shelling and finally started indiscriminate firing, killing five youths on
the spot .
The administration fails to reply as to who was the 'competent officer' to
order 'shoot to kill' and how many policemen and administrative officers
were injured, or why other means of controlling the mob like firing in the
air, firing on knee, and water cannon etc. were not used and why the
administration miserably failed to check the rumour mongering and could
not satisfy the angry mob. Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Bakshi
parrots "firing was resorted into self defence.'
The situation was brought under control by imposing curfew order in
Sadatganj, Talkatora and Thakurganj police station areas of the old city.
Normalcy however returned the very next day and Muslims offered Namaz Juma
in curfew bound localities also and the police did not resist. After three
days curfew was withdrawn. All the victims of the police brutality belong
to poor families. The only Hindu victim Ram Lakhan was a rickshaw puller.
The administration has yet not announced any financial relief to the
victims and their relatives.
Prime Minister Vajpayee who represents Lucknow in the Parliament asked the
chief minister to probe the incident and bring the culprits to book. The
responsibility has been assigned to the Commissioner of Lucknow division,
Saurabh Chandra who has been asked to submit his report within a month. We
still remember the report of Mukharjee committee that probed the Kanpur
incident and put all the blame on SIMI. This is also not going to be any
different, this much is sure. This fact prompted Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, Vice
President of Muslim Personal Law Board and Maulana Sajjad Nomani, member
of its executive body to term it as a mere eyewash.
The administrationís fraudulent approach and malafide intentions can be
gauged from the fact that the three SIMI activists who were released on
personal bonds were later declared "fugitives" and the police
started a manhunt to nab them .Perhaps it was a second thought on the part
of the administration on two counts, firstly to please their "saffron
bosses" and secondly to save their own skin as to why SIMI people
were released on personal bonds. q