18 june 2011A team of civil rights activists today met with the Chairperson of the National Minorities Commission, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, to express anger and distress over the police firing in Forbesganj—in which four people, including an infant were shot dead at pointblank range by the Bihar Police on 3rd June—seeking his urgent intervention to ensure justice for the victims of the horrendous torture and killings. Mr. Habibulallah apprised the team that he had sought a response from the Bihar Government but was not satisfied with it. In a letter to the Chief Minister dated 14th June, Mr. Habibullah wrote, “The Commission is entirely dissatisfied with the report received from Araria District SP Ms. Garima Malik, which fails to explain why it should have become necessary for the police to open fire so indiscriminately as to target women and babies, and disappointed by the communication received from Shri Amir Subhani, Home Secretary, Bihar.”
Disappointed by the casual approach of the Bihar government, the Chairperson informed the delegation that he has decided to lead a team to visit Forbesganj on 21st June to make a first-hand assessment of the situation. The following day, the team will also be seeking a report from the Chief Minister on the action taken in this matter. We welcome the active intervention of the Commission Chairperson and hope that the NHRC will also take note of the gravity of human rights violations of the poorest and the most marginalized people by the government of Bihar. The delegation also urged the Chairperson to pay a visit to the injured victims in PMCH, whose miseries are being compounded by the lack of medical attention and government apathy. The demand that the injured must be provided the best possible medical care on government expense was reiterated by the activists.
Mahtab Alam and Iqbal Ahmed (Committee for Justice for Victims of Forbesganj Firing)
Manisha Sethi and Ahmed Sohaib (Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association)
Endorsed and supported by ANHAD, AISA, NAPM, INSAF