Police Firing on Muharram Procession at Giridih

A fact-finding team of CPI(ML) led by CCM Comrade Manoj Bhakta enquired into an incident of police firing on a Muharram procession in Birni block, Giridih, Jharkhand on 20 January. It emerged that the Taziya procession was in the habit of culminating at Raintand Grounds every year during Muharram. This year, however, the Sub-Inspector Izwanul Haq Siddiqui, acting in the interests of a local strongman who has captured the grounds, came to threaten the villagers with dire consequences if the Taziya procession came to the Raintand Grounds. The police force led by the SI assaulted villagers in the procession, beating them up with lathis and firing on them. The police also attacked the entire village, dragging people out of homes, destroying and looting their property and shops. 44 year-old Ramzan Miyan was dragged out his home and beaten with rifle butts till he collapsed; he later succumbed to his injuries and died. 18Several others – Habib Ansari, Zia-ul-haq, and Ashgar Ansari – suffered serious bullet injuries, while many had broken limbs. Shops, a medical store, a poultry farm and many homes had been looted.

In the face of protests, the police has ordered a departmental enquiry against the SI, but no cases of murder, loot and assault have been booked against the SI and other police officials. CPI(ML) has demanded that these guilty police officials be booked and arrested. The entire episode brings to mind the Doranda firing at the time of Id that took place under a BJP Government in Jharkhand; it is indeed ironic that this time a similar assault at the time of Muharram has taken place in the UPA’s regime. 

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