Family members of the three youth killed in police firing during the violence that erupted on Tuesday (August 11) night in Bengaluru claimed that their sons were not part of the mob and they were bystanders only.
The police identified the three persons as Wajid Khan (19) – an airconditioning service person, Yasin Pasha – a meat shop worker, and Sheikh Siddique (24) – an auto driver.
While people belonging to the minority community went to lodge a police complaint against Naveen P, the relative of a Congress MLA, for his Facebook post targeting a religious minority community, some turned against the police when they delayed the FIR process and failed to arrest him.
The mob turned violent, burning vehicles outside the Devara Jeevanahalli (DJ Halli) Police Station limits, and the police, with the situation going out of their control, opened fire at the crowd. According to the post-mortem report, three people succumbed to the bullet injuries.
Yasin’s mother said her son, who worked in a meat shop, was on his way to store the leftovers in a freezer. “Had my son not gone out, he wouldn’t have been killed. He’s innocent,” she claimed.
His father, Ansar Pasha, however, talking to regional media, claimed his son had gone to have dinner at his brother’s house. “He was going to his brother’s house to have dinner. We told him not to venture out. But he was confident that nothing would happen as he went on a bike,” Ansar Pasha said.
In the case of the second youth, the brother of the deceased Wajid Khan said he worked in a shop as an air-conditioning service person.
“He was returning from work when the incident occurred. After the bullet injury, some of his friends informed us and we rushed to hospitals. Three hospitals rejected us and he was heavily bleeding. We took him in an auto as the ambulance failed to reach us,” Shahid said.
However, with regard to the third youth Siddique, his uncle did not know whether his family member was actually involved in the incident. He said Siddique was the breadwinner of the family and that his mother was left alone with no income support. “He managed to run the family with his auto driving income. Knowing him well, he surely wouldn’t have participated in the riots for sure,” his uncle asserted.
Furthermore, a group of leaders belonging to the minority community met the police commissioner on Wednesday (August 12) and gave a memorandum saying those killed were not part of the riot.
The families expressed anguish over the delay in handing over the bodies (except for one of them, who tested positive for COVID-19 posthumously).
Meanwhile, the police are probing the role of political outfit Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in the violence. The police arrested 145 people in connection with the riots so far.
Muzamil Pasha, Bangalore district secretary of SDPI is one among them.
The police commissioner and political leaders remained mum on the issue of those killed, saying they were still investigating the matter. They arrested Naveen and filed an FIR against him for derogatory posts.