Human Rights

Enquiry into police firing after Makka Masjid blast still incomplete

Hyderabad: It will be remembered that bomb blasts in Hyderabad's Makka Masjid had taken place on 18 May 2007 in which 5 namazis were killed and many more were injured. After that, a violent mob had staged a protest demonstration and indulged in stone pelting also. In order to control this mob, police had resorted to indiscriminate firing in which also five persons had died and many more were injured. On public demand an enquiry commission was set up by state government soon thereafter to find out whether police firing on unarmed demonstrators was justified or not. The enquiry commission was headed by retired Justice Bhaskar Rao. During this period of 2½ years, Rao Commission was given 8 extensions to complete his report. The 8th extension also expired on 6 November but since the report could still not be completed, on the Commission's request yet another extension of 3 months i.e. 9th extension was given by the state government.

During this period Justice Bhaskar Rao recorded the statements of the then Police Commissioner Balvinder Singh, South Zone's Dy Police Commissioner Kanta Rao, enquiry officer Anant Reddy, Char Minar Asstt Police Commissioner Redna Falacknuma Police Inspector Sudhakar who told the enquiry Commission that conditions were so serious and the crowd was so violent that firing had become necessary in order to control and disperse the crowd.

In this enquiry, advocate Shafiqur Rahman Mohajir of MIM, Maulana Rahim Qureshi of Ta'mir-e Millat and advocate Adam Malik of Majlis Bachaao movement represented Muslims. Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi, MP requested the Commission to ask for photos of police atrocities on people shown on TV and study them while preparing his report.

It may be mentioned that after bomb blasts in the Masjid, relatives of those dead and injured were searching for the victims at different places in extremely disturbed and strained conditions but police instead of helping and sympathetically treating them resorted to firing in which many persons were killed and injured. People are eagerly awaiting for the Commission's report for which they will have to wait for some time more and see whether justice is done to the aggrieved people and the guilty police personnel are punished or not.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2009 on page no. 11

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