• Sunday, May 28, 2023


10 years on, father of Birmingham riots’ victim still looking for justice

Tariq Jahan, father of Haroon Jahan Photo by Carl De Souza/AFP via Getty Images

By: Pooja Shrivastava

THE father of a man killed during the 2011 Birmingham riots has reflected upon his son’s death, revealing fears he will never get justice for his murder.

Haroon Jahan, 21 died after being hit by a car during riots in the city. He, and two others -Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31 – were protecting their homes and others in the neighbourhood from looters.

Eight men were found not guilty in 2012 for the murder of the three men. Since then, no one has been officially charged for the crimes.

Speaking to the BBC, Haroon’s father Tariq Jahan said he is still waiting for answers.

“To a lot of people, ten years on will seem like a long time,” he said. “For me, it feels like time has stood still. The experience broke me, if I’m honest.”

At the time of the riots, Tariq made a plea for calm following the death of his son.

Many credits his speech for helping to bring an end to the unrest, which was triggered by the death of Mark Duggan, a black British man shot dead by police in London.

“This is not a race issue,” he said at the time. “Please respect the memory of our sons, and the grief of our family and loved ones by staying away from trouble and not going out tonight.

“I lost my son. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home. Please.”

During an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), it emerged that a senior officer, Det Insp Khalid Kiyani, was “reckless” in his conduct.

It also emerged witnesses were offered immunity from prosecution in return for statements.

Tariq said he is now considering legal action against West Midlands Police.

“I was more interested in a public inquiry, but I’ve now realised there is no hope,” he said.

“Maybe the last avenue is those people who made the mistakes in the case, which comes down to the police. Maybe there’ll be some answers from that side.”

He added: “If someone in my position cannot get justice on such a prevalent case, then who in their right mind in this country believes that they will see justice when it’s their turn?”

Asked if he can forgive those responsible for his son’s death, Tariq said he did not want to die with hate in his heart.

“You can keep hate for as long as you want in your heart, it doesn’t calm you,” he explained.

“But to forgive him and those men, I forgive them. There is nothing. What am I going to do?

“I’m going to learn to forgive and love and make life worth living.”

On Tuesday (10), the family planned to visit Haroon’s grave to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death. “It feels as if Haroon has been sat on my shoulder for 10 years and I haven’t been able to walk away,” Tariq said. “I can’t leave him.”



Eastern Eye

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