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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Enraged mob vandalizes Bengal Police Station, burns down police vehicles after Muslim youth’s custodial death

Custodial death of a Muslim youth named Arman Khan had turned the Asansol’s Barakar into a fierce battlefield in early June. On 31 May, Khan was arrested by officials of the local police station on charges of theft. Tension flared throughout the Barakar area on Tuesday morning after the shocking news of Arman Khan’s custodial death reached the locals who then gathered to form crowds and staged violent protests against the police brutality. Some also launched attacks on the Police Station with brickbats and locally made bombs. Locals attacked and vandalized several police vehicles and set at least 5 of them afire.

The police were forced to use tear gas to bring the anarchy in control. A contingency of combat forces was also deployed in the area and it was gheraoed by security forces. The police also arrived to patrol the Barakar area till the frantic crowd was not placated and dispersed.

A close relative of the deceased, Mohammad Mukhtar Ansari spoke to local media and informed that the police had picked up Arman on the charges of theft previously as well. His friends had gone to get him released from custody. “I heard Arman was again arrested by the police last night and they beat him to death. I rushed to the hospital and discovered that our son had indeed passed away. Is this the law of the land? Is it right to kill someone like this?” asks Ansari.

When the media questioned a resident, Sikandar Ansari, to probe further on the matter, Ansari said that he didn’t know why Arman was detained earlier. “But today I heard that the bara babu (police official) has killed him. Our only question is, is the “bara babu” God? Can he kill whomever he wants to at his sweet will? We demand justice,” adds Sikandar Ansari.

Reportedly, Arman Khan was the only son of a poor family. His father works as a carpenter. The locals are extremely sympathetic to the poor man who has lost their son. They demand that the police officer who killed their son should meet them and provide an explanation of why he killed Arman.

Another local said, “a young boy has been beaten to death. We demand the Chief Minister’s intervention. We want justice.”

Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissioner Ajay Tagore had informed local media that the incident was reported from Barakar Police Station. The Inspector-in-Charge Amarnath Das and Sub-Inspector Prashant Kumar Pal have been suspended for their involvement in the incident.

However, it was only after two months that the alleged police brutality meted out to Arman Khan, his death, and the violence triggered by it has come to light as national media had maintained silence on the matter. When a thief, Tabrez Ansari was caught in the act, bashed up by villagers, handed over to the police, and died after two days due to a heart attack, the leftist liberals had rallied in his remembrance, ran hashtags, and propagated his death for weeks on news channels and social sites almost turning it into an international debate. However, the leftist liberals are maintaining conscious silence on the death of Muslim youth Arman Khan who was wrongfully detained by West Bengal police and beaten to death.

We wonder why? Is it because the unfortunate incident had happened in the Mamata Banerjee ruled West Bengal? The relatives and friends of the deceased are demanding justice from the state Chief Minister but invited at a peace conference in Rome, the TMC matriarch has not shown any interest in comforting the victim’s family.

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