Birmingham disorder: Father's plea over Haroon Jahan death
- 11 August 2011
- From the section Birmingham & Black Country
The father of a man who was killed along with two others when they were hit by a car during Tuesday's disorder in Birmingham has appealed for calm.
Haroon Jahan, 21, Shahzad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, died as they protected property. A man aged 32 has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Tariq Jahan urged people to stay calm, and said communities should be united.
About 250 people attended a peaceful vigil on Dudley Road in Winson Green, which began late on Wednesday night.
Mr Jahan stood in the middle of a semi-circle of well-wishers as they lit candles.
The crowd gathered near the scene of the fatal hit-and-run incident, which happened as the three men guarded property along with a crowd of 80 or so people on Tuesday night.
Harpreet Singh, 28, who helped to organise the vigil, said: "Let this be a message to other communities, not just Muslims and Sikhs, let's stand together, let's hold candlelight vigils.
"People have been hurt, families have been hurt, if we don't stop this, and the people who are rioting do not stop this, there will be more people dying. It has to stop and we are standing here united."
He questioned the effectiveness of West Midlands Police's handling of the disorder in Birmingham and elsewhere but said that Sikhs and Muslims would unite to bring peace to the area.
"We as Sikhs, we have been there and we have been protecting the mosques", to which one man shouted from the crowd "and we will protect the temples".
Speaking earlier on Wednesday about the death of his son, 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.
"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."
A total of 22 people were arrested on Wednesday after a series of warrants were carried out at addresses across the West Midlands, police said.
They were held on suspicion of burglary, robbery and violent disorder.
Property has been recovered from some of the addresses, including a total of £14,000 worth of mobile phones, which police believe to be stolen.
Officers arrested 163 people during Tuesday night, after violence took place in Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. About 375 people in the region have been arrested since the disorder began on Monday.
Solihull Magistrates' Court has been sitting through the night to deal with offenders.