The narrow streets around the Bunder area in the heart of Mangaluru, where two men were killed in police firing on Thursday, wore a deserted look on Friday. There was evidence of the protests over the new citizenship law in a 500-metre stretch in front of the Bunder police station – strewn with patches of burnt signboards and tyres – where local residents say the police firing had occurred.
On Friday, as prayers ended at mosques in Mangaluru — following a relaxation of curfew for two hours — two families waited for police to facilitate the transportation of the bodies of Naushin K (24) and Abdul Jameel (49) from the morgues of the government Wenlock Hospital to two mosques in the region for their final rites.
“What kind of a world is this?” said Naushin’s mother Mumtaz, as she waited at her rented home in the Kudroli area for the body of her youngest son to be released by the police.
“He worked as a welder in the Bunder area. Yesterday he came home for lunch, like he did everyday, and then left again for work. He did not even eat properly. The next thing we heard was that he had been shot in police firing. He did not even participate in the protests,” Mumtaz said.
The family is unaware of what the protests were all about.
Barely a kilometre away, in the Kandak area, the family of Jaleel waited outside his uncle’s house for the body to arrive. The 49-year-old, who worked in the local fish market, was shot dead two streets away when he ventured outside the narrow lane where his rented home is located to see what the commotion on the streets were all about.
“He had just eaten his lunch and there was tear gas shelling on the main street near his house so he went to see what was happening. He barely stepped on the main street from the side lane and he was shot,” said Faisal Bengre, a cousin of Jaleel.
“He was not part of the protests. He had come home for lunch and went out to see what was happening…,” said another relative.
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