Monday, May 21, 2007

Firing on Muslims: The ugly pattern from Delhi to Hyderabad

Already a lot has been written about the police firing in Hyderabad but I could feel the sense of dejection among Muslims elsewhere. In hotels and eateries in Muslim dominated areas in two cities, I could hear angry voices.

The pattern is similar. Protesting Muslims or gathering of Muslims where there is a trouble of any sort, are fired at readily compared to gatherings of other communities with much more unrest, said people in chai-khanas. (Apart from Muslims, the gatherings of Dalits and tribals have also seen similar police excesses)

In July last year, this happened in Bhiwandi where Muslims were killed in police firing (Click to read). The story was similar at Vadodara where cops were seen on television set, aiming at Muslims (Click to read). The bullets invariably hit Muslims in chests.

And just a few months back the same treatment was meted out to Muslims in Seelampur locality on ceiling issue. Nowhere else bullets were fired though Delhi remained on boil for several days and there were many violent protests. But on September 22, three Muslims were killed in firing (Click to read).

Water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas are not considered. And when bullets are fired, they are hit at chests, never at legs. The argument of cops is often that in 'surcharged circumstances' the firing becomes inevitable. Really! At least in the recent firing in Hyderabad, everybody is aware and we have seen on TV screens how people were targeted and murdered by this brute police force.

Now it's Hyderabad where after the bomb blast in Mecca Masjid, the angry and shocked Muslims, were shot dead. (Click to read). But do the politicians (about Muslim leadership one hardly expects them to take up the issue seriously) have an iota of interest in this alleged communalisation of police and ways to deal with this malaise.