Curious case of CAA violence victims: Dead listed as accused

CAA
Police personnel fire tear gas shells during their clash with the protesters in Mangaluru | PTI File

A day after Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced compensation for the families of the two unarmed protesters shot dead in Mangaluru during agitations against the new Citizenship Act, it has emerged the deceased have been listed as ‘accused’ in rioting cases.

Nouseen Yane (23), who died on the spot when hit by a bullet in his eye, has been listed as accused number-3 (A-3) and Abdul Jaleel (49), who died of a bullet injury in his stomach, has been listed as A-8, along with a dozen other protesters.

Jaleel’s nephew Nazir on Sunday (December 22) met former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who was in Mangaluru to assess the situation. Speaking to The Federal, he alleged the police were trying to cover up their mistake by foisting cases against them.

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“They (police) want to safeguard themselves. The police have put their names in the FIR so they can justifying their killing saying they were criminals. They have no other options. Everybody knows that,” Nazir said. However, he didn’t comment on the compensation announced by Yediyurappa.

Apprehending further persecution if he criticised the establishment, he said, “I cannot speak against the government because I don’t know what they will do.”

Although the case against the deceased was registered on December 19, the details were kept secret on the orders of city police commissioner PS Harsha.

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The Federal made several visits to the Mangaluru North and Pandeshwar police stations, where a bulk of the rioting cases have been registered. Although details of such cases are routinely shared with the media, the inspectors at these two stations refused to disclose even the most basic facts this time.

“The commissioner has instructed us not to share anything with the media. My hands are tied,” said one police inspector, requesting anonymity. The details finally became public when lawyers representing the accused shared the FIR copies with news outlets.

Demanding the suspension of the police officers responsible for the deaths, Kumaraswamy, said at a press conference, “How can cases be filed against dead people whose family are being given compensation by the government? Exemplary action should also be taken against police inspector Shantaram Kundar.” On the day of the violence, Kundar was seen in a video footage chiding his subordinates for wasting bullets without killing people.

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