By Syed Zubair Ahmad
New Delhi: A couple of fresh videos purportedly show “complicity and involvement of Delhi Police personnel” in setting on fire Farooquiya mosque in Mustafabad during the anti-Muslim pogrom in northeast Delhi last month.
Eyewitness accounts couple with at least two video footages brazenly exposed the “communal nature of police”, prompting the need for “structural reform of the necessary evil” with a focus on handling communal situation.
Accordingg to the caretaker and muezzin of the mosque, the cops entered the Farooquiya Masjid at Brijpuri Puliya near Mustafabad and thrashed the worshippers before setting it on fire on February 24. The cops in video also allegedly deserected the madrasa adjacent to the mosque.
Md Jalaluddin, the muezzin whose jawbone was fractured in the attack on February 24, admitted that both the sides – Muslim and Hindu – were pelting stones at each other since morning, but there was no casualty till evening when police barged into the mosque during prayers at dusk.
Md Jalaluddin the Muezzin of Farooquia Mosque telling his ordeal.
“The cops entered the mosque while we were offering Maghreb prayers. They started thrashing the Imam, deserecting the shrine while passing communal slurs even as I managed to his myself into a room.” said Md Jalaluddin in broken voice.
“There were three of us – one elderly man and the imam of the mosque. They set ablaze the mosque and left. The flame gradually engulfed the whole area. I ran for safety but was caught by rioters and cops outside the mosque who kicked me black and blue until I felt unconscious,” he said.
Jalaluddin, who is undergoing treatment in Al Shifa Hospital at Abul Fazal Enclave, added that the rioters were not able to enter “our locality till the police came forward” and opened fire to disperse the Muslims.
Md Fakharuddin, caretaker of the madrasa telling his ordeal.
Md Fakharuddin, caretaker of the madrasa, also substantiated the accounts and said, “The cops also abused us and thrashed us mercilessly before desecrating the mosque.” He said at least seven persons were killed outside the mosque. “A boy, Shakir, was shot dead right outside the mosque,” he claimed. The police went back thinking they had “finished their job”. “More than 30 madrasa students and 12 teachers managed to take shelter nearby,” he said.
Fakharuddin claimed that the police realized that their acts were recorded in the CCTV cameras, so they came next day. “They returned on February 25 and broke the cameras installed outside the mosque. They did not stop there. That day the cops also looted cash and partially damaged computer systems. The videos of police brutalities were captured by the locals,” he claimed.
The video clips, in possession of the Muslim Mirror, recorded on February 25 in the morning show five cops entering the mosque premises from back door which is attached with madrasa building where CCTV cameras are installed. After four minutes smokes started blowing out of the window and policemen came out of the premisesfrom backdoor of the mosque.
“We had heard of partisan role of police during communal riots, but saw it with our bares eyes for the first time. We could now hardly differentiate between rioters and the cops, except that the latter were in uniform,” said a local Muslim who ran a shop near the mosque, requesting anonymity.
Over a dozen mosques were attacked during the three-day communal violence allegedly orchestrated by saffron goons in the national capital. Video clips circulating on social media platforms glaringly expose the partisan role of police which many call nothing short of pogrom.
At least 60 persons died, hundreds left injured, many still seriously, and properties worth crores of rupees were destroyed in the deadliest violence unleashed by Hindutva mob with complete impunity.