A day after the police resorted to lathicharge in Meerut Sunday evening to disperse hundreds of protesters demanding martyr status for Tabrez Ansari, a victim of mob lynching in a Jharkhand jail on June 21, the police had to wield batons once again in Mawana town,around 20 km from here,to break up a crowd outside a mosque Monday.
The protesters at Mawana was also demanding that Tabrez be declared a martyr and that adequate compensation should be given to the family members of the deceased.
The local administration in Meerut suspended Internet services for the whole day on Monday to curb rumour mongering following Sunday evening’s tension. The police registered cases against nearly 850 persons (50 named, 800 unidentified) in five police stations of Meerut while the police in Mawana town has filed FIR against dozens on Monday.
In Mawana,hundreds gathered at a mosque on Mill Road Monday morning where the Shahr Qazi, Maulana Nafis Ahmed, also condemned the Jharkhand incident. The crowd then wanted to go out as a procession to present a memorandum in this connection but the police denied permission.The mob protested violently and the police used force to disperse the crowd, sources said.
Divisional Commissioner Anita Meshram held meetings with senior officials and BJP legislators Monday afternoon. BJP MLAs Satya Prakash Agarwal and Somedra Tomar were present in the meeting, in which Meshram too emphasised that no one should be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere.
In Meerut, chief of a local outfit, Yuwa Sewa Samiti, Badar Ali, had sought permission for taking out a peace march Sunday evening to pay homage to Ansari from a college on Dehi Road but was denied permission on the plea that assemblage may lead to trouble as section 144 CR.PC has already been promulgated (assembly of more than four persons at a point unlawful). However, the outfit went ahead with the programme.
The Shahr Qazi,Zainus Sajjidin and Badar Ali have addressed a crowd of several hundred people in the college Sunday. “Mob lynching incidents which started from Dadri (victim Mohammed Akhlaq, September 2015), followed by Rajasthan (Pehlu Khan, April 2017) are on the rise and now Ansari has died in Jharkhand. The governments in these states should ensue adequate security for the people,” said Zainus Sajjidin while demanding the the Jharkhand victim be given the status of a martyr and that adequate compensation should be given to his family members.
“We had denied permission for Sunday’s march, yet the organisers went ahead with their plan and took to Meerut’s streets, protesting the Jharkhand incident. We tried to restrain them but the crowd attacked policemen, forcing us to use mild force. Five policemen were injured at three different places,” said Akhilesh Narain Singh, SP (city), Meerut.
“We tried to control the crowd and told them that that we have decided to end the peace march at the college itself but they went ahead. At least two dozen in the crowd have suffered injuries in the police action. We have also submitted a memorandum demanding the status of the martyr for Ansari,” said Badar Ali, chief of Yuwa Sewa Samiti.
The five police stations where FIRs were filed are Delhi Gate, Civil Lines, Kotwali, Lisadi Gate and Nauchandi. “The FIRs were lodged under 14 sections of the IPC and the NSA will also be invoked on those who are being identified by us through available mobile videos to us.Those who have took out the procession without valid permission will be dealt with a stern hand,” said Meerut SSP
Nitin Tiwari. “The situation is under control in Mawana now and we will take strict action against law-breakers,” added Tiwari.