Special Reports

Khalid Mujahid’s death galvanises Muslims

New Delhi: Once again the Indian Muslim community is outraged to a level never seen since the Batla House murders, called "encounter" by the Delhi Police. Once again the community has taken to streets in all big and small towns and major organisations have unequivocally condemned Khalid Mujahid's murder in custody on 18 May while he was being transported from Faizabad court to Lucknow jail.

Demo in Lucknow on 22 May
Demo in Lucknow on 22 May

Various protest demonstrations have been organised since in various places but the biggest one is the on-going sit-in-protest of Rihai Manch in front of the U.P. assembly at Lucknow since 22 May. The sit-in is demanding  the arrest of the police officers who are involved in the murder of Khalid, release of the Nimesh Commission report and other demands (see box).

Demo in Lucknow on 25 May
Demo in Lucknow on 25 May

Addressing the protesters, secretary of the National Loktantrik Party Chaudhery Chandra Pal Singh, said that the Samajwadi Party has gone into the lap of Sangh Privar so as to reap the crops of Hindu communal votes. He said  Khalid Mujahid has been murdered by branding him as a terrorist just like Ishrat Jahan in Gujarat. It is to be remembered that the UP STF had hurriedly produced Khalid Mujahid before the court after Chandra Pal Sigh had threatened to immolate himself at Azamgarh on 22 December 2007 if the adducted Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi were not produced.

Advocate Randhir Singh Suman, counsel of Khalid Mujahid at Barabanki said that rather than Khalid and Tariq the actual terrorists are the policemen who unlawfully arrest and implicate innocent people in terror cases.

Demo in Azamgarh on 25 May
Demo in Azamgarh on 25 May

Rihai Manch protesters put 16 questions (see box) before the Muslim MLAs of Samajwadi Party threatening that if they fail to answer, Rihai Manch will organise sit-ins in front of such MLAs and MPs' houses.

The protesters demanded the immediate arrest of the retired Inspector General Vikram Sigh who had hatched the conspiracy to get Khalid Mujahid killed. Chairman of the Rihai Manch Advocate Mohammad Shoaib and others addressed the on-going sit-in.

Demo in Lucknow: Indian National League President Muhammad Sulaiman raising slogans

In Delhi, Police did not allow protesters on 23 May to proceed from Jantar Mantar to the UP Resident Commissioners' office in the city to register their protest.

The protestors at Jantar Mantar were also condemning the clean chit given to BJP leader Varun Gandhi in a hate speech case.

On the complaint of his uncle Zaheer Alam Falahi, a case was registered on 19 May against 42 police officers including former DGP Vikram Singh, ADG Brijlal and others who were on duty during the time of Khalid's arrest for murder and conspiracy.

In a sudden move, Akhilesh Yadav-led UP government on 21 May suspended nine policemen who accompanied Khalid Mujahid while escorting him from Faizabad to Lucknow Jail on 18 May. These suspended nine police officers are different from these 42 policemen. Earlier UP government has ordered for a CBI enquiry into the causes of death as even the autopsy report was inconclusive in finding out the exact cause of death. But the CBI has reportedly refused to accept the U.P. government request.

Earlier about 50 thousand people took part in the janaza (funeral) prayers of Khalid Mujahid in his village of Madhiyahu in Azamgarh on 19 May.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 June 2013 on page no. 13

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