Jaipur Burns: Police Vs Muslims, One Shot Dead
THE CITIZEN BUREAU
JAIPUR: It started with a very small incident but blew into a major confrontation with a frightened and angry mob burning vehicles, and the police firing to disperse the crowd in which one person was killed on the spot. Curfew has been imposed in four police stations, and even as we report, legislators, police, people's representatives are meeting to form peace committees and ensure that the tension is contained, and the violence does not spread.
Some women were purchasing clothes from a street vendor at Ramganj market place, when the local cops came to remove the thelas. Wielding lathis, the cops started hitting all in the vicinity. A lathi blow fell on the woman. She objected, whereupon the cops hit her again, according to eyewitnesses. Unconfirmed reports suggest that she suffered a fracture. The woman and her son went to the police station to lodge a report. Again reports suggest that the police refused to file a FIR, a charge that the cops now deny.
However, since the couple took a longer than expected time inside the police station an agitated crowds started gathering outside. The mob became restive and angry, fearing the worst with rumours of all kinds circulating within, and soon turned violent setting an ambulance and vehicles on fire before pelting stones at the police.
The cops resorted to firing and one person was killed on the spot. Local activists maintain that the situation could have been contained without bullets, that the police did not go through the drill but resorted to firing as the first option.
The police, according to locals again, wanted the family to bury the body without a postmortem. This created further resentment, the people refused, and the stand off continued through the night. The post mortem is being done now (12:30 )with news awaited. The people are still agitated, and the Police along with legislators and others are trying now to calm the situation for fear of the anger spreading to impact on other areas.
Kavita Srivastava, a well known activist of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, said categorically that the violence is not between Hindus and Muslims as some sections might like to report, but a straight confrontation between the police and the minorities in what is the old city of Jaipur.