Birmingham deaths: Praise for Tariq Jahan's plea for calm

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Media caption,
Community leaders in Birmingham appeal for peace

A bereaved father's plea for calm in Birmingham helped to quieten tensions in the area, the chief constable of West Midlands Police has said.

Tariq Jahan made an appeal for calm after his son and two more men were killed when hit by a car in Winson Green early on Tuesday.

Haroon Jahan, 21, Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, died as they protected property in Winson Green.

Police have been given more time to question a 32-year-old murder suspect.

West Midlands Police was granted a 12-hour extension, until about 16:00 BST on Thursday, to question the man who was held on suspicion of murder.

'Powerful and generous'

Chief Constable Chris Sims went for a walkabout in Dudley Road, where the incident took place, on Wednesday.

He said he had been to visit Mr Jahan at his home address earlier.

"An awful lot of work was being done yesterday by communities across Birmingham," he said.

"But I think most of us would see that the intervention he felt able to make, which was one of the most powerful, generous and far-sighted interventions I have ever seen, at a moment of absolute grief and devastation, I think that was a decisive intervention in terms of Birmingham not suffering tension and violence between communities."

Image caption,
Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir died after being hit by a car during Tuesday's disorder

He later added: "Anyone who heard that must have been moved.

"Anyone intent on keeping up the cycle of violence in the name of those who died will have thought twice about it," he said.

Speaking 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.

He said: "Today, we stand here to call to all the youth to remain calm, for our communities to stay united."

He later said: "I have lost my son - if you want to lose yours step forward, otherwise calm down and go home."

During Wednesday night, about 250 people attended a peaceful vigil on Dudley Road in Winson Green.

Mr Jahan stood in the middle of a semi-circle of well-wishers as they lit candles.

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