Second protest in a day in the national capital
NEW DELHI — Popular Front of India on Tuesday held a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the gruesome killings by police in Assam on September 23. Twenty-seven-year-old Moinul Haque and 12-year-old Sheikh Farid were killed in police firing at Sipajhar in Darrang district.
This was the second protest in a day that the national capital witnessed on the issue. Earlier in the day, a group of students led by the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) demonstrated at Jamia Millia Islamia and demanded action against the guilty policemen as also the photographer who desecrated the body of a victim of police firing.
The PFI, too, demanded justice for the dead as well as those who have been dislodged from their homes. “We are here to protest against the police atrocities in Assam,” said Mohd Ilyas, general secretary of PFI. “We also want the government to halt the evictions and rehabilitate those evicted.”
PFI rejected the allegations of Assam Chief Minister that the organisation’s role had surfaced in instigating the protests when its local workers had gone to the village with relief for families left homeless. They visited the area a day before the violence broke out.
“If we have done anything illegal, the government should initiate a case against us and we will defend ourselves in the court,” Ilyas added, speaking with Clarion India.
The protest was attended by members of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) as well.
The supporters expressed their anger against Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, the parliamentarian from Assam who heads the All India United Democratic Front.
“He is the representative of Muslims of Assam,” said Mohd Shafi, a leader of SDPI. “He should have put himself before JCBs (earthmovers) that were used to demolish the homes.”
The protestors also said that they will use all democratic means allowed under the constitution to oppose the policy of the Assam government.
Mohammad Saleem, the media coordinator of PFI, said that the group will provide legal help to the evicted families. He said the group will continue giving every possible support to the victims’ families.
The Assam government has announced an independent judicial probe into the violence but Ilyas said it is “not enough”.
PFI also demanded compensation for those killed or injured in the police firing.