Mangaluru, Dec 26, 2019: “Can anybody bring back my brother? If the government wants to give compensation, let them. Otherwise it is fine by us,” was the stoic response of Mohammed Yahya, the brother of Jalil who died in police firing on December 19.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced on Wednesday that the compensation announced earlier for the family of the two killed in the violence — ₹10 lakh each — would be put on hold until the innocence of the two men was proved by investigation as both have been named in the FIR.
Mr. Yahya continued to maintain that Jalil was innocent. “He was not involved in any violence on that day. He was shot dead by the police while going out of the home after dropping his children from the school,” he said.
Nauful, the brother of the other victim Nausheen, 23, said his family was not looking for compensation but for “justice”. “The police does not know the worth of a life. Is it possible to get my brother back?” he asked, echoing the sentiments of Mr. Yahya.He said, “This kind of injustice should not be meted out to any person. My brother was fired on the back while he was returning from his work,” Mr. Nauful said. He demanded that the government dismiss the three police officials who were responsible for the firing, “because they should not repeat the same for others”. “We are only looking for justice from the government and not compensation,” he said.
The government’s decision to withhold compensation also drew ire from the Opposition parties. In a series of tweets, the former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah said that an elected government should not become so “inhuman, cruel, and communal”. He said it amounts to pronouncing the two deceased guilty even before investigation.
JD(S) leader and former Chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy also took to Twitter to attack the government’s move. He said the government that had “used the Mangaluru police to vitiate the situation” had now denied compensation to the victims.