TDN World Desk: After Congress’ fact-finding committee blamed ‘provocation’, ‘police inaction’, The Caravan magazine brings into light an exclusive report where the local people raised similar allegations, the complicity of the ‘police-men’ or ‘forces’ in vandalizing a mosque in Mustafad and assaulting men inside.
According to the exclusive report published by Caravan magazine, based on eye witnesses’ interview, the attack on Farooqi mosque took place around 7 pm on Feb 25. The incident happened during the Maghrib namaz – evening prayer at the mosque.
People who survived the brutal assaults alleged that the attackers were in uniforms, attired with bullet-proof vests. The mosque was under CCTV surveliance with 16 cameras inside the mosque. The footage was stored at the adjadent madrasa, they torched it also, the next day.
Mufti Mohammad Tahir, the imam of the mosque, who was among those assaulted, told The Cavaran that there were 16 CCTV cameras within the mosque, and the room in which the footage was stored was located on the madrasa’s ground floor. According to him, the attackers destroyed the room where the recordings were kept.
It was 6.30 pm on the third day of communal riot in the North-east delhi, when men inside the mosque were announcing to maintain communal harmony, police-men entered the mosque and thrashed people with batons. Tahir, a 30-year-old; Firoz Akhtar, a 42-year-old tailor, and Jalaluddin, the mosque’s 44-year-old muezzin – are the three survivors. They said that there were thirty to Sixty police men who took part in torching the mosque. though Tahir couldn’t confirm that whether these men in cops uniform were really policemen or RSS men as they put on bullet-proof vests. “we couldn’t tell whether they were actual policemen or from the RSS or who they were.” But, all the three survivors said that none of the attackers were in civilian clothes. Other local witnesses, who have been there at the scene of occurrence, also corroborated with the trios’ account.
Locals who witnessed the attack and those who helped the victims escape corroborated the three men’s accounts. During and after the attack, Jalaluddin’s wife, Waheeda, was at an acquaintance’s residence, located around twenty-five metres away from the madrasa. She said that the next morning, she saw policemen torching the madrasa. Another witnesse Naseem-ul-Hassan, a 59-year-old businessman, said that the uniformed attackers were not sporting visible name badges.