Wednesday 16th Jan 2019
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Custodial Death of Khalid Mujahid a Brazen Police Atrocity: IAMC

Cover Story

Indian American Muslim Council, an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, on 21 May denounced and strongly condemned the alleged custodial death of Khalid Mujahid, at the hands of the Uttar Pradesh state police. IAMC also condemned the brutal attack on Mr. Mujahid’s counsel, Advocate Mohammsd Shakeel, and the ransacking of the chambers of other advocates related to the case.

In a statement, the IAMC said, “Mr. Mujahid had been arrested on dubious grounds in a terror case in 2007. The case against him was falling apart and he was expected to testify against the police personnel that had conspired to frame him as well as Mr. Tariq Qasmi on trumped up charges. His killing is widely seen as an attempt by the police to silence a witness whose exposé of police subterfuge was imminent.

“Mr. Mujahid’s custodial killing comes on the heels of the killing of Qateel Siddiqui in police custody as well as several other fake encounters and hundreds of cases of Muslim youth subject to illegal detentions.”

In a letter to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, IAMC President Ahsan Khan called Khalid Mujahid’s death a “case of custodial murder that has pushed atrocities by law enforcement against minorities beyond a dangerous threshold.”

The letter urged the Home Minister to fulfil the UP government’s request for a CBI enquiry while expanding its scope to cover the entire case including Khalid’s original arrest on terror charges. “This would establish the motive behind his custodial killing.”

In a separate letter to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, IAMC urged the state government to take the following steps:

1) In addition to the nine policemen already suspended, order the immediate suspension of all the police personnel, implicated in Khalid’s arrest, detention and subsequent death until the CBI investigation is completed.

2) Table the full report of the Nimesh Commission that was instituted to investigate the arrest of Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid by a Special Task Force of the UP Police. According to media reports, leaked portions of the Nimesh Commission Report had clearly recommended legal action against the officers that had conspired to arrest the duo on dubious charges.

3) Provide adequate compensation for the family and next of kin of the victim

4) Suspend the lawyers that engaged in brutal violence against Advocate Mohammad Shakeel and others, merely for providing legal services to Khalid Mujahid, which is the constitutional right of every citizen.

The letter also pointed out to the Chief Minister that the security of Mr. Tariq Qasmi, the surviving member of the duo that was arrested in this case is paramount. The state government needs to protect Mr. Qasmi from vested interests in the police force. 

The case of Khalid Mujahid has galvanised human rights activists, organisations and people of conscience across India as well as the Indian diaspora, to speak out against the repressive tactics of law enforcement authorities against minorities.



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