A Muslim teenager was killed at a protest in India. His family wants answers

1 week ago 92

By Hannah Ritchie, Rishabh Pratap, Rhea Mogul and Hilary Whiteman, CNN

Updated 0119 GMT (0919 HKT) June 23, 2022

New Delhi (CNN)"They're firing bullets, they're firing bullets!" a dependable yells connected video implicit the dependable of gunfire during clashes betwixt constabulary and Muslim protesters successful the eastbound Indian metropolis of Ranchi.

Footage posted to societal media of the June 10 protestation shows 15-year-old Mudassir Alam raising his fist successful the aerial arsenic the assemblage chants, "Long unrecorded Islam."

More shots ringing out, and Mudassir falls to the ground.

"He's dead!" a bystander shouts, arsenic radical effort to halt humor flowing from a coiled to the teenager's head.

Mudassir died aboriginal successful hospital, 1 of 2 young men killed successful the Ranchi clash -- the latest victims of a deepening spiritual disagreement betwixt India's bulk Hindu colonisation and the number Muslim community.

The June 10 protestation was 1 of respective demonstrations that erupted astir the state aft 2 erstwhile spokespeople for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made derogatory comments astir Islam's Prophet Mohammed.

Mudassir's grieving father, Parvez Alam, doesn't cognize who killed his teenage son, but successful a constabulary ailment helium accused officers of "indiscriminately firing utilizing AK-47s and pistols targeting the Muslim mob."

He claimed astatine slightest 3 different men were firing bullets astatine protesters from the rooftop of the Hindu Shree Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple adjacent wherever Mudassir was lasting successful the street.

"Due to the firing from the temple extortion and by the police, determination was a chaotic concern and 1 slug deed my lad successful his head," Alam said successful his complaint.

Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan confirmed that Mudassir and different man, Sahil Ansari, were aboriginal pronounced dormant astatine the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science from "bullet injuries" sustained during the protest.

Ansari's father, Mohammad Afzal, told CNN his 20-year-old lad was returning location from his occupation selling cellphones successful the marketplace erstwhile "police opened fire."

Sahil Ansari, 20, was besides  fatally changeable  during protests successful  Ranchi.

Ranjan said "police opened occurrence due to the fact that the mob was convulsive and archetypal firing happened from the mob," but helium would not remark connected which mob helium was referring to, saying the substance was nether investigation.

Amol Homkar, Inspector General of Jharkhand Police, said a two-member committee had been formed to analyse the incident, and a Special Investigation Team from the Ranchi Police are besides making inquiries. Homkar said 12 radical were injured during the protest, and 30 person been arrested successful the days since, though helium didn't specify immoderate charges.

CNN has examined footage from the protest, which astatine times shows constabulary firing indiscriminately astatine the demonstrators, nary of whom -- including Mudassir -- look to beryllium carrying firearms.

The boy's begetter says helium wants answers.

"I mislaid my lone kid to this violence," Alam said. "He was conscionable 15, not adjacent an adult."

The shooting

Father and lad were moving astatine the family's effect stall connected Mahatma Gandhi Main Road, a main thoroughfare done Ranchi, erstwhile protesters gathered aft Friday prayers, Alam told CNN.

"I was removing my effect kiosk to debar harm owed to protests," helium said. "Mudassir was helping me."

Alam described his lad arsenic a "very polite boy" who, similar galore teenagers his age, loved making TikTok videos and taking photos connected his cellphone.

In a study to Ranchi police, filed 2 days aft his son's death, Alam said helium saw a "mob" from the "Muslim community" moving northbound on the main road, and erstwhile they reached Shree Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, Mudassir joined them.

Alam claimed the men lasting connected the temple rooftop started throwing rocks astatine the protesters and fired shots into the crowd.

Video from wrong Shree Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, verified by CNN, shows respective radical sheltering connected the crushed floor, including constabulary officers.

Over the dependable of projectiles hitting the building, a woman's panicked dependable says, "Everyone is throwing stones astatine the temple. The medication is trying to halt it ... but they can't." Through the temple's information screens, protesters tin beryllium seen throwing rocks.

Another video shows crowds outside, hurling stones towards the temple earlier gunfire rings out. It's not wide who's firing the shots, but the assemblage is seen carrying distant an unidentified antheral whose achromatic apparel look stained with blood.

Towards the extremity of the video, constabulary with guns are seen walking towards the Muslim protesters, who person retreated from their presumption extracurricular the temple.

Under India's Code of Criminal Procedure, constabulary officers tin usage "force" to disperse what they deem to beryllium an unlawful assembly.

Irfan Ansari, a Muslim legislator from India's Congress party, which is portion of the ruling conjugation successful the state, questioned wherefore the constabulary fired bullets astatine the assemblage and said that helium would request the Chief Minister bid a judicial inquiry.

"The Ranchi incidental has enactment the authorities to shame," Ansari wrote connected Twitter. "It is the occupation of the constabulary to protect, not to shoot."

Muslims consciousness targeted

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP enactment came to powerfulness successful 2014, Muslims accidental they've been unfairly treated by a authorities committed to policies favoring Hindus.

India's Muslim colonisation of 220 cardinal is vastly outnumbered successful a state of 1.4 cardinal people, and portion India claims to beryllium a secular country, galore Muslims accidental they're surviving successful fear.

The caller comments by erstwhile BJP representatives astir the Prophet Mohammed did not lone choler Muslims successful India. At slightest 15 Muslim-majority nations condemned the remarks, and immoderate demanded a diplomatic effect from Indian ambassadors.

India's Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar told a municipality hallway held by CNN affiliate News-18 connected Saturday that the comments didn't bespeak the BJP's views.

"What was said was not the presumption of the party. The enactment made it precise wide and took action," Jaishankar said.

"Some countries had concerns connected it. They woody with us, we are their representation of India. Countries who had concerns bash admit that this was not the government's position," helium added.

But high-level diplomacy has failed to easiness choler connected Indian streets, wherever the comments sparked protests successful respective large cities. In immoderate places, Muslims accidental they person been targeted for speaking out.

Heavy instrumentality  is utilized  to demolish the location   of a Muslim antheral   that Uttar Pradesh authorities   authorities accused of being progressive   successful  riots.

Activists successful the bluish BJP-ruled authorities of Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the Hindu priest-turned-politician Yogi Adityanath, accused authorities of punishing Muslims allegedly progressive successful the protests by destroying their houses.

Authorities defended their actions by saying they were targeting homes built illegally connected nationalist onshore whose owners had ignored repeated demolition notices.

But victims told CNN lone Muslim homes had been destroyed, and that nary informing was fixed earlier their properties were reduced to rubble.

In a connection past week, Amnesty accused the Indian authorities of "selectively and viciously cracking down connected Muslims who situation to talk up and peacefully explicit their dissent against the favoritism faced by them."

 'The harm  to Indian ideology  is not reversible'

Aakar Patel, Chair of the Amnesty International India Board, told CNN that authorities were "violating Indian instrumentality and Indian obligations to assorted treaties that the state has signed."

"What India is doing is without the justness process moving done it, (it) is targeting Muslims, targeting their homes, shooting them adjacent -- each connected the pretext of trying to marque definite that determination is nary unit connected the street," helium said.

CNN has contacted Adityanath's bureau but did not person a response. In a tweet connected June 11, his media advisor shared a photograph connected Twitter of a yellowish bulldozer demolishing a property, writing: "Remember, each Friday is followed by a Saturday."

Family demands answers

At the family's humble location successful Ranchi past Wednesday, women surrounded Mudassir's grief-stricken mother, Nikhat Parveen, wiping tears from her eyes arsenic she wailed.

Parveen told CNN Mudassir had phoned her aft helium finished helping his begetter to accidental helium was coming home. "He enactment his telephone down, and past helium died," Parveen said.

She said her lad was waiting for his precocious schoolhouse exam results, and connected Tuesday, they recovered retired helium was awarded consecutive A's for 5 of his six Year 10 subjects.

"He utilized to archer me: 'I'm going to get a authorities job. I'm going to spell acold successful life,'" Parveen said.

"He was incredibly intelligent ... helium was loved by all. He's not present today, and everyone has tears successful their eyes."

His father, Alam, said constabulary person truthful acold frustrated his efforts to record an FIR -- a First Information Report -- which is required to commencement an authoritative investigation.

"We person been trying to instrumentality ineligible action, but the authorities are not cooperating," helium said. "We filed a ailment with the police, but they did not registry (it)."

Homkar declined to remark connected the claim, and Alam's different allegations, pending the result of the investigation.

Alam said his son's decease has robbed his household of their future.

"I americium (a) mediocre laborer, maine and my lad (now dead) would merchantability fruits and vegetables. He was the lone lad and aboriginal of my family," helium wrote successful his constabulary complaint.

Mudassir's parent asked wherefore immoderate shots needed to beryllium fired connected a engaged thoroughfare wherever children, similar her son, were present.

"Does anyone person the close to bash that? Do the constabulary oregon whoever other person the close to occurrence shots similar this?"

    When asked what she wanted from police, she said with resolve: "I privation justness for my son."

    CNN's Arpit Goel and Teele Rebane contributed to this report.

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