Muslim bodies demand action against Bihar cops

Police officers fired at protesting villagers in Araria district, killing five Muslims.

Patna: Three Muslim bodies have urged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take stern action against the police officers who fired at protesting villagers in Araria district, killing five poor Muslims and injuring nine.

On June 03, the police opened fire at a group of people who were protesting the blocking of a road because of an upcoming factory in Bhajanpur village of Araria district, about 350 km from here.

Five people, including a pregnant woman and a six-month-old baby, were killed while nine others were injured.

"We want the government to punish police officers and provide justice to families of victims," Anisur Rahman Qasmi, secretary of the Patna-based Imarat Shariah, said.

Qasmi said the villagers were frightened following a fake FIR lodged against 3,000 villagers for alleged attempt of murder and loot.

All India Milli Council general secretary M Manzoor Alam said: "Police did not open fire to disperse the crowd but the victims were intentionally shot. If the police wanted the mob to disperse, they would have taken aim below knee. Everybody was shot point blank in the head or chest."

Another organisation, the Indian Muslim Development Foundation, has questioned delay on the part of the state government to announce compensation for the kin of the victims.

"It is also shocking that Nitish Kumar has not suspended Araria SP (Superintendent of Police) Garima Mallik who reportedly ordered police firing on innocent protestors," the organisation`s director MI Khan said.

On Friday, Shabnam Hashmi, an activist who heads the Delhi-based NGO Act Now for Harmony and Democracy, which compiled a fact-finding team`s report in the case, demanded dismissal of Araria SP and said Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi`s role should be probed in the incident.

Under attack from the opposition, Nitish Kumar has recommended a judicial inquiry into the incident.


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