Magisterial probe by Divisional Commissioner (Meerut) is on now

Civil society group Jan Hastakshep has demanded a judicial probe into the violence which took place at Masuri in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh on September 14.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, senior journalist Saeed Naqvi said only a judicial enquiry by no less than a sitting Judge of the High Court can find out what happened and who were behind the incident.

The violence, which started when a mob attacked the local police station following the discovery of torn pages of the Quran on the nearby railway track, led to killing of six members of the minority community allegedly in police firing. A magisterial enquiry by the Divisional Commissioner (Meerut) is currently on.

Mr. Naqvi, who was also a member of the fact-finding team which visited Masuri days after the violence erupted, said the versions of the incident given by the local administration, the police and the politicians have been the same but much of their version does not stand test of scrutiny.

He said it was quite hard to believe the local police that only one rifle was operational at the time when the violence erupted. The forensic tests of the bullets found on the bodies would establish the veracity of the police claim, Mr. Naqvi added.

Arguing that one needs to look at the Masuri violence as a part of series of riots happening in Uttar Pradesh during the past few months, he said the civil society should investigate and find out the pattern which pointed towards a larger design of those who want to divide people in the wake of the coming general elections in 2014 for political gains.

N.K. Bhattacharya, convenor of Jan Hastakshep, said that from the incongruities in the police version and from the facts “cobbled together” from people’s narrative, it appeared that the people had gathered on the evening of September 14 at the police station without any violent intent. The police firing on the mob was not only excessive but also uncalled for because the situation should have been handled through ways sparing the lives of innocent people, he added.

While releasing the fact-finding report which indicted the police for showing “ineptitude and callous disregard of people’s lives”, Mr. Bhattacharya appealed to members of civil society to stand against “State terror”.

Arguing that just magisterial enquiry was not enough, he said a judicial and timely probe into the killing of innocent people should be conducted without delay because it was very important “to overcome the atmosphere of fear and establish full facts of the incidents, to fix responsibility for this tragedy, to uncover the forces behind this incident and to prevent such occurrence in future”.

  • A mob attacked local police station following discovery of pages of Quran on nearby tracks

  • It led to killing of six members of the minority community allegedly in police firing