Saturday, August 13, 2011
Tariq Jahan's Plea For Calm Over Hit & Run Deaths
The father of a man killed when he was hit by a car during a night of disorder in Birmingham has appealed for calm and for people to stay at home. Tariq Jahan's son, Haroon Jahan, 21, died along with Shahzad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, as they protected property on Tuesday night. Mr Jahan said he wanted everyone to remain calm, and for communities to be united. Police have arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of murder. The three men were part of a crowd of 80 or so people guarding property in Dudley Road in the Winson Green area. Police arrested 163 people during Tuesday night, after violence took place in Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. Mr Jahan said losing a family member was something no mother, father, son or sister should endure. "Today, we stand here to call to all the youth to remain calm, for our communities to stay united," he said. "As we stand here today, this is not a race issue. The families have received messages of sympathy and support from all parts of the communities - from all faiths, all colours and backgrounds." He appealed for people to respect the memories of their sons by staying away from trouble and not going out. "I have lost my son - if you want to lose yours step forward, otherwise calm down and go home." West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims said the incident happened when a group of males had been gathered close to a petrol station in Dudley Road. He said: "At some point, and in circumstances that as yet I can't fully explain, a vehicle has been driven into that group of males, which tragically has led to three of those men losing their lives." Referring to the arrest he said: "He has been arrested for murder because the information that we have at the moment would support the idea the car was deliberately driven." Witnesses to the incident said the three men - two of them brothers - were part of a group protecting shops from looting. Kabir Khan Isakhel said: "People came out of prayers [at a local mosque] and they were protecting the area. They were standing on the side of the road and the car just came and ran them over." Civic leaders, police and Prime Minister David Cameron have also appealed for calm.